How can you optimize the Googlebot’s caching and indexing process? First, iQuanti SEO expert Dipankar Biswas writes, it’s important to understand the difference between the two.
When the Google crawler comes to your website, it will take a snapshot of each page. This copy is referred to as the cached version of your site.
Caching has a number of benefits for internet users. If a page is unavailable because of internet congestion, a server issue, or a site edit, the page content is still visible in Google’s cache.
Client-side caching, meanwhile, transparently stores site data closer to end-users so future data requests can be served faster, without having to ping the origin server. This reduces server loads while also speeding up users’ browsing experience.
The main reason Google’s crawler uses caching, however, is for indexing.
Once the crawler has grabbed a copy of your page, it will break it down in order to map different search results to different web pages. This broken-down information is referred to as Google’s index. From an outside view, it looks similar to a database. Effectively, though, it’s a gigantic custom map created by and for Google that weighs values, locations, and many other ranking factors.
Simple enough – but modern web design can throw a wrench in the gears of this process.
The main problem that arises is that Google’s cache and index are not always representative of page content, because the Googlebot only scans and ingests plain HTML. In other words, the cached version reflects the HTML page that gets served, not the rendered version that the user sees.
The good news is that you can optimize the Googlebot’s caching functionality.
DOM is essentially an application programming interface, or API, for markup and structured data such as HTML and XML. It’s the interface that allows web browsers to assemble structured documents. The DOM also defines how that structure is accessed and manipulated.
What if you want to restrict caching for certain pages? This is an option, too.
Take the Wall Street Journal, which limits the number of free articles visitors can read. Because the Journal knows that some people would try to access articles, like this one, via Google’s cache, it limits page caching altogether:
Is the page still being indexed to maximize “SEO juice”? Yes. Just because a page doesn’t get cached doesn’t mean that it can’t be indexed:
A simple piece of HTML instructs Google to index pages but not cache them: <meta name=”robots” content=”noarchive” />. This is another great example of how you optimize the Googlebot and put it to work.