What is Log Analysis
In terms of how search engines are crawling your website, your log file contains valuable information in order to investigate and leverage page optimization. These files can be called as storage of all the information about a website’s usability such as how, when and where it is used.
Logs can be generated from any intelligent and programmable device like network devices, operating systems, applications and more.The data received is recorded anonymously, and includes information including the time and date in which the user made the request, the requested IP address, the URL/content requested, and the user-agent from the browser. Logs can be generated from any intelligent and programmable device like network devices, operating systems, applications and more. They are mainly used for technical site auditing and debugging of the operation of an application.
Significance of Log Analysis in SEO
Like a black box in an aircraft, the static file or log file is a file in which web servers usually store their each transaction which makes this file important to track websites and getting information about their popularity. Giving you deep insight about your website’s usability, visibility and popularity, the log file helps you to track and identify the history of your website. It can also highlight errors in your HTML code and the type of visitors attracted to your site.
In the same way, each request for the content made to the server is also recorded and can see specifically what search engines are crawling by, filtering the user-agent and client IP range accordingly. With that valuable data at hand, log files are a powerful way of auditing and understanding search engine crawl actions for your website.
Log File Analysis Can Identify
- Allocation of crawl budget
- Accessibility errors that were encountered during search engine crawl
- Areas of crawl deficiency
To analyze the impact of your SEO from a technical perspective, above mentioned areas have the potential to disclose the wider issues like duplicate or thin / low quality content , and site performance / speed. Thereby, the success or failure of search engine optimization campaign can be easily and quickly identified.
How to Read Log Files
Since these static files have special session, characters, database information, segregating and interpreting this data to get the information in a required format is very difficult. In order to interpret manually, a SEO professional would be a perfect interpreter who can map technical terminology from different log sources into a uniform, understandable terminology so that reports and statistics can be derived from a heterogeneous environment.
However, manually it is difficult to interpret but thanks to the technology that now log files can also be read by a program known as web log analysis software or web log analyzer. These programs syntactically analyze a log file from a web server using the records contained in the file and provide information related to the website traffic and visitors.
Meanwhile, some useful tools and solutions are also available for you such as Logsene, Papertrail, Logentries, Splunk and Loggly. These are some of the most powerful tools that provide deep insight of log files by letting you collect, store, index, search, correlate, visualize, and analyze the records.
Which Log Files to consider for ensuring the optimization of the website:
There is some valuable data to be examined on a daily, weekly or monthly basis in order to ensure site design and its optimization:
As various programs and methods for log analysis are used, their terminology may also differ from above mentioned terms hence better to ask your site admin or hosting provider to highlight these terms for you.
From the above concept of Log analysis, we are able to better understand its significance and scope. These are gold mines filled with vital information about your optimized web site. If you keep tracking on a regular basis, you’ll eventually strike it rich with success.