Firstly, SEO spider traps, also known as crawler traps, are one of the most frustrating technical SEO issues that may occur on your website. They make it difficult, if not impossible, for crawlers to examine your website quickly. These crawler traps cause search engine spiders to perform unlimited queries for irrelevant URLs, resulting in a structural issue in a group of web pages. More importantly, Your rankings as well as the indexing process are eventually affected. Crawl traps, their causes, recognizing and preventing them, and possible remedies are all discussed on this page.
What Are SEO Crawl Traps?
Spider Trap refers to a website structure that has technical issues. These traps provide infinite URLs, making crawling difficult for the spider. As a result, the spider becomes trapped in these traps and cannot access your website’s important areas. When crawling a site, the search engine has a set number of pages it’s willing to look at, referred to as a crawl budget. Crawl traps lead to sites with little SEO relevance. As a result, search engine bots don’t get to the important pages, wasting crawl money.
When the search engine is not scanning the intended page as well as there is no benefit from SEO optimization, the time and money invested in building SEO are utterly squandered.
Crawler traps can also cause duplicate content concerns. After meeting a crawler trap, a large number of low-quality pages are indexable and available to readers. Sites can also fix difficulties with duplicate content on search engines by avoiding traps.
How Do You Identify A Crawl Trap?
- To see if a site contains a spider trap, use a crawler-based tool like Xenu’s Link Sleuth or Screaming Frog.
- Start a web crawl and let it run for a time. There will be no spider trap if the crawl ultimately ends.
- If your website isn’t very huge and the crawl takes a long time, you’re probably dealing with spider traps.
- If you export a list of URLs, you’ll see that:
- There’s a trend where all of the new URLs appear disturbingly similar to each other.
- Plug some of these URLs into your web browser to validate your assumptions. Your website will fall under a spider trap if all URLs lead to the same page.
What Are The Different Kinds Of SEO Spider Traps, And What Causes Them?
There are four main types of creep traps, each of which requires a different technique of identification. These include:
1. Never-ending URLs
2. Mix-match Traps
3. Session ID Traps
4. Subdomain Redirect Trap
5. Crawl Trap For Keyword Searches
6. Calendar Traps
The following is a guide to identifying and treating each of these spider’s crawls.
- Never-Ending URL Traps
A never-ending web of spiders entangles you. When an unlimited number of URLs pointing to the same page with duplicate content, SEO happens. The trap is caused by improperly written relative URLs or server-side URL rewrite rules that aren’t well-structured.
Detecting and Correcting Endless URL Traps
When using a crawler-based tool, you can identify these traps if any of the following occurs:
- The URL keeps getting longer and longer without stopping
- The crawl runs smoothly until it reaches your site’s junk pages
- If the crawled URLs start taking a strange form that is an extension of the crawled pages
This spider trap may be fixed by utilizing a crawler tool and configuring it to order URLs by length. Choose the longest URL to find the source of the problem.
- Trap Mix-and-Match
This problem is most common with e-Commerce platforms that allow consumers to apply many filters to find the proper product.
Mix and Match Crawl Trap Detection and Repair
For a crawler, several product filters per page might cause problems.
Here are some suggestions for resolving the problem:
- Provide fewer filtering options
- Use robots.txt to block pages with too many or too few filters
- Session ID Crawl Trap
This is another spider crawl trap that e-Commerce platforms are prone to. The search bots wind up crawling similar-looking pages with different session IDs.
Session ID Crawl Trap Detection and Repair
Do you see session IDs while examining your site crawl? The likes of which include:
Or anything similar within the URL strings, with the same IDs appearing again and again?
This might indicate that a session ID crawl trap is crawling your website.
- Subdomain Redirect Trap
When your website is operating on a secure connection, yet every page on the unsecured site is pointed to your secured homepage, you’ve fallen into the trap. The trap makes it difficult for Google bots to reroute outdated, vulnerable pages. You may avoid falling into this trap by double-checking and ensuring that your site has the proper redirect after each server, maintenance, or CMS upgrade.
The Subdomain Redirect Trap and How to Get Rid of It
Traps for spiders Misconfiguration of the CMS or web server causes SEO. Edit your web server configuration to fix it. You may also change the CMS and add the request URL redirect string there.
- Keyword Search Crawl Trap
The search feature isn’t supposed to be crawled or indexed by search engines. Unfortunately, many website designers overlook this fact. When this happens to your website, anyone with bad intent may easily upload indexable information to it even if they are not signed in.
How to Spot a Keyword Search Crawl Trap and Fix It
Conduct a search audit to see if the search function creates unique URLs or if the URLs include common letters or phrases.
- Get the site re-crawled by adding no index no follow metadata to the search results to delete part of the search results from the search engine
- Then use robots.txt to block the deleted pages.
- Calendar Trap
Calendar traps happen when your calendar plugin creates a large number of URLs in the future. The problem with this trap is that it produces a slew of empty pages for the search engine to crawl when it explores your site.
Detecting and Correcting Time Traps
Although Google will ultimately identify and delete useless calendars from your site, you may manually detect the trap. Go to the site’s calendar page and continually click the ‘next year’ (or ‘next month’) button. If you can go for several months or years, the site features a calendar trap.
To access the indexed pages of your calendar, type (site:www.example.com/calendar). Examine your calendar plugin’s settings to see if there are any options to limit the number of months displayed in the future. If there isn’t any protection, you’ll need to block the calendar pages by going to the robots.txt file and setting a sensible amount of months into the future.
How Do Spider Traps Affect SEO?
Spider traps have a typical effect on your website, preventing crawlers from exploring it. They can be caused by a variety of technical and non-technical difficulties with your website. As a result, your search engine visibility suffers, and your ranking suffers as a result. Other undesirable consequences include:
- Google algorithms reduce the quality of your ranking
- Affect the original page’s ranking in circumstances when spider traps result in near-duplicate pages.
- Search bots waste time loading irrelevant near-duplicate pages, wasting crawl money.
A “nice” spider is less likely to get stuck in a crawler since it only seeks documents from a site once every few seconds and alternates between hosts. Sites can also use robot.txt to tell crawlers to avoid the trap once it’s been found, but this isn’t a guarantee that a crawler won’t be harmed. Investing the time to detect and eliminate crawler traps complements other efforts to improve SEO relevance and site ranking.
- Back up and keep raw web server logs.
- Conduct frequent technical SEO audits.
- In addition, use fragments to add parameters since search engine crawlers disregard URL fragments.
- Run your crawls regularly to ensure that the relevant pages are being crawled.
- Examine several different user agents. If you’re accessing your site through one user agent, you might not get the best image of it. Bots may be stuck in canonical tag loops that visitors don’t see since they click links selectively.
This tutorial will help you recognize, remove, and avoid spider traps. They all happen for different causes, but they all have the same effect: they stifle the success of your website.