FAE is a web application that evaluates the pages in a website by using a technique known as web spidering. The main parameters needed for spidering, and hence evaluation, are:
- starting URL
- depth level (explained by example below)
- domain and path constraints for following links
Domain and path constraints
When you start an evaluation in FAE, you specify domain and path constraints that control which pages the spidering algorithm will analyze. For a multi-page evaluation, these are found under the ‘Follow Links In’ heading. The choices are:
- ‘Specified domain only’ (default): Use the domain of the starting URL and follow any link within that domain.
- ‘With specified path’ (checkbox): When the starting URL includes path information, only follow links within the specified domain that have the same path.
- ‘Specified domain and all of its next-level subdomains’: For example, if www.mydomain.com was specified as the starting URL, also follow links in other subdomains, such as abc.mydomain.com.
Example of FAE website evaluation using web spidering
Taking the depth level as 3, here is an example of how the algorithm works:
- The top-level page, specified as the starting URL, is evaluated and its results are saved.
- For each link found on the top-level page that satisfies the domain and path constraints, access the linked second-level page, evaluate it and save its results.
- For each link found on a second-level page that satisfies the domain and path constraints, access the linked third-level page, evaluate it and save its results.
- Once FAE has evaluated the top-level page and all second- and third-level pages with URLs that satisfy the specified domain and path constraints, spidering stops since the depth level is 3.
- Process all of the page-level results that were saved and aggregate these results into a summary report for the entire website.