SEO Question: What Is “Good Crawl-Able Design”?
I recently received an email saying that my site wasn’t a good crawl-able design and that they could fix it for me. What is good crawl-able design and what do I need to do?
Crawl-able design is another term for being search engine friendly. There are many ways that web designers can (albeit accidentally) hamper your ability to rank well in search.
There are a few basics such as the use of Flash which is a code heavy, outdated technology unsuitable for effective web design. Many designers still insist on building all or part of a site (slideshows, graphics, etc) using Flash.
The problem with Flash is that search engines can’t read the content they contain, instead just seeing an empty space of white nothingness. Not ideal.
If your site is going to perform for you, you need it to be interpreted by search engines correctly, so they can all access all your content.
You can check the ‘cache’ held by Google in Google Web Master Tools under the crawl tab on the left choose “Fetch As Google” to see how Google sees your page.
In addition to publishing and submitting an XML sitemap to Google WMTs, (you’ve done that already yes?) your navigation is vitally important to how search engines find and index your pages.
All your pages should be linked to from your other pages as a default rule. If you don’t link to a page then Google won’t be able to find it. GoogleBot follows links to find content, so link to it.
As a secondary rule, your pages are valued in tiers depending on how deeply buried they are within your site hierarchy. All your pages should be 2 clicks away from your home page or closer. Deeper than 2 clicks and the pages lose value for search engines and are considered to be supplemental content rather than being prime pages.
If Google renders your pages satisfactorily and all your pages are linked to from your site navigation or via other links within your content then your site includes the crawl-able design basics required to rank.