How Deep into Your Site Are the Spiders Crawling?By: Robin Nobles
Have you ever wondered how far down into your site the search engine spiders are going? Are the pay inclusion spiders coming at regular intervals like they're supposed to?
Wouldn't it be great to see which spiders are visiting your site and which pages they're crawling . . . at a glance?
Robot Manager Pro http://www.websitemanagementtools.com/robot.html is undoubtedly one of the most helpful software programs I've seen in a long time. It actually serves two purposes:
What is a Robots.txt File?
A robots.txt file is simply a text file that "disallows" (or keeps spiders out) of certain pages or areas of your Web site. For example, if you have a section of your site that's devoted to your personnel, you can keep the spiders from finding and crawling that entire section by including it in a robots.txt file.
If you've ever tried to create a robots.txt file by hand, you know that it's nothing short of tedious, and it's so easy to make a mistake. So having a program create the file for you automatically is ideal.
However, what's really exciting to me about Robot Manager Pro is how it monitors spider traffic. But first, let's look at the software as a whole.
At Look at Robot Manager Pro
The program is simple to use. On the left-hand side of the screen, you'll see numbered areas. On the right-hand side of the screen, you'll see a Quick Help section that explains how to use that portion of the program.
What you're doing in steps #1-3 is creating your robots.txt file. You'll tell the program which areas or pages that you want to keep the spiders from crawling, and the software will create the robots.txt file for you and upload it to the root directory of your Web site.
Keep in mind that you don't have to create a robots.txt file if you don't want or need to. You can simply use the spider monitoring portion by itself.
Now Let's Get to the "Fun" Stuff
As I stated previously, the most exciting part of the program to me is the way it monitors spider traffic.
The first time you download your log files to analyze your traffic, it won't be quite as interesting as it gets each additional time you use the program.
Every time you use the program, you'll open the initial file you created, hit "refresh" to download the latest log files, and let the program update your spider visits.
If we were to click on one of the spiders, such as Googlebot, we'd see how many pages from this site that Google has spidered.
Google is a deep crawling engine, and it really can find most of your Web pages if you provide text links to them.
If we were to click on any of the actual Web pages, we'd see a screen that tells us how often the spider has visited the page.
Can you see the value in having this type of information?
If you're interested in tracking spider visits to your site, Robot Manager Pro is a "must have" software program for you. It's fast and easy to use, and it provides key information about how the spiders are crawling your Web site.
Visit the Robot Manager Pro Web site at www.websitemanagementtools.com/robot.html to learn more or to download a free trial version. They also offer a regular version of Robot Manager, but it doesn't monitor spider traffic.
© Copyright 2003 Robin Nobles. All rights reserved.
The author assumes full responsibility for the contents of this article and retains all of its property rights. MarcommWise publishes it here with the permission of the author. MarcomWise assumes no responsibility for the article's contents.