Understanding what a crawl budget means in search engine optimization (SEO) enables you to manage your presence and ranking in online searches.
You may think the crawl budget is outside your control as a website owner or not to think of it at all. Your website will eventually grow larger, affecting your crawl budget to influence your presence in search engines. Thereby increasing a crawl rate does not lead to better Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) positions. Learn, adapt, and manage a practical crawl budget from this article for your consistently higher SERP ranking.
Google has various means to index good crawl signals to rank the search results for a website. However, while crawling is necessary for the search results, Google does not consider it a ranking signal. You would not want crawling and indexing to hamper your website’s visibility and ranking in online searches indirectly.
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What is Crawl Budget for Your Online Presence?
A crawl budget tells how your pages appear in SERP, or a mismatch affects your website’s update or crawl rate. If it happens, you will experience a growing lag from creating or updating a page and up until it appears in searches. Thus, your crawl budget results from Google’s non-crawl or non-indexing of your website pages. Indeed, true when either spammy content or poor delivery of a user experience, or probably both, have happened.
You need to publish only the better content and gradually improve your integrity to avoid the above scenario. Prevent technical issues, and allow crawlers to find your pages easily and visitors to frequent your website to maximize your crawl budget. Improve your crawling and use Google Search Console (GSC) using SEO to follow your links and “crawling” around your website.
Why is the crawl budget important?
Google can crawl on your site anytime on “several pages” or known as a “crawl budget,” which numbers vary slightly or remain relatively stable. Google might be able to crawl around six pages on your site each day, or a single crawl of about 5,000 or even 4,000,000 pages every day. Google measures your crawl budget based on your site’s size confirming its current health, errors, and links on it that are within your influence.
Your crawl budget tells how quickly your pages appear in searches, providing ease to crawlers and index your website thoroughly. Always ensure to publish better content and wait for your reputation to improve for the best crawl budget from Google. Using Ahrefs’ site explorer can make content development and optimization easy for your website’s great crawling and technical factors.
Crawl Budget Optimization
Optimizing your crawl budget comprises a series of steps we have laid down below. Adapt these steps together with your crawl rate and crawl demand to signal your quality website pages’ search engine bots. The quicker it gets into the Google index and frequently visits your updated pages, the easier it gets optimized.
Updating your content can optimize your crawl budget, which Google and other search engines highly favor. Follow these techniques to improve how you manage and sustain your crawl budget to boost your SERP rankings.
20 Best Practices to Manage Your Crawl Budget
01 – Learn how much Google wants to crawl your pages.
Make your website discoverable in searches like Google to learn how it crawls and indexes your website content. Google can index your website based on how popular your pages are and how stale the content is. Crawl budget takes both crawl rate and crawl demand to index many of your URLs Googlebot can and wants to crawl. Learn your core web vitals and improve your rankings in Google and other search engines.
02 – Understand How Google Crawl Your Site
It is better to learn how often Google crawls your site and how it happens between more or less four days and four weeks. Check from the time you launch or update the content of your website for its visibility to Google. A website’s popularity, crawlability, and structure are all factors that Google takes to index a site regardless of the time. Googlebot always finds a way to a new website in four days to four weeks.
Maximize your crawl budget or the number of resources that equates to the varying pages that Google crawls per day per site. Yes, the pages Google bots crawl at any day vary, but the crawl budget remains the same despite Google’s sophisticated algorithm. Understand how Google crawls your website using Google’s stats report and these best practices to manage your crawl budget effectively.
03 – Calculate your crawl budget
Divide your pages by the average number of pages crawled every day to know your crawl budget. Maintain a good number that is higher than 10 for you to have 10x more pages than what Google crawls each day. Once you are done calculating it, optimize your crawl budget to avoid ending down to a number lower than three pages.
04 – Ensure Your Crawl Rate Limit Is Configured.
Googlebot functions to crawl while it ensures users have a great experience visiting your site. We call this the “crawl rate limit,” limiting the maximum fetching rate for a given site. Configure the parallel connections Googlebot uses to crawl sites and its waiting time in between. These simultaneous connections affect a crawl rate that varies on crawl health and limits in Google Search Console (GSC).
You cannot increase the crawl rate though, otherwise, choose your option to limit a desirable crawl rate and make it count as a new crawl rate that is valid for 90 days. Hence, the “crawl rate limit,” which is the maximum fetching rate for a site that represents those parallel connections Googlebot may use to crawl your website. Including the time it has to wait between the fetches.
05 – Ensure Crawl Demand to Influence Positive Results
Your crawl demand also influences positive results for your crawl budget as long as you make it work along, even if it does not reach your crawl rate limit. Hence, if there’s no demand from indexing, there will be low activity from Googlebot, requiring popularity, staleness, and site updates or migration. Combining crawl demand and crawl rate as your takeaway will help you define and manage your crawl budget to equate URLs Googlebot can and wants to crawl for your website.
06 – Maximize your crawling efficiency
Manage your URL inventory to help maximize your crawling efficiency. Do this using smart tools to indicate to Google what content to crawl or not in your website. Eliminate duplicate content to allow Google to focus crawling on unique content, block crawling of URLs that need not be indexed, and return 404/410 to remove pages permanently. Indicating a 404 indicates Google with a strong signal not to crawl that URL again and Index Coverage report for soft 404 errors to eliminate them.
Keep your sitemaps up to date for Google to read it regularly, ensure to include all the content you want Google to crawl.
Make your pages efficient to load so Google can crawl and render your pages faster and read more content from your website. Track your site crawling status to monitor any availability issues on your site during crawling. It will help you look for ways to make your crawling more efficient.
07 – Resolve crawling issues in your website
One common crawling issue is that Google thinks to crawl a page on your website, but it is not accessible. Find that page that Google should not crawl but be submitted by mistake. Un-submit the page either by removing it from your sitemap or by removing internal links to the page or possibly both.
Whichever the case, these mixed signals force Google into dead ends and waste your crawl budget unnecessarily. Resolve these issues by checking your Coverage report in Google Search Console. The Error tab is dedicated to crawling conflicts and provides you with errors, error types, and the list of affected pages.
08 – Measure Your Core Web Vitals
Measuring your website performance, especially your core web vitals, would nee you to use online tools. However, there are tools specific to a particular web factor that you need to muster in managing your crawl budget. Though some of these standard tools may not use actual field data from users, some use lab data instead to provide factual outputs.
Know each of these tools to measure your core web vitals and ease your website indexing and crawling by Google bots – Google Search Console, Chrome DevTools, Chrome UX Report, PageSpeed Insights Chrome Web Vitals Extension. Using Google Search Console can help you assess the overall condition of your website pages.
09 – Check Your web pages using Google Search Console (GSC)
Make use of Google Search Console’s free service platform to help you assess, monitor, maintain, and optimize your website’s presence and performance in search engines. You need not sign up for the Search Console to improve your site visibility and appear in search results. Learn the basic search console usage to maximize your website presence for both crawlers and searchers.
10 – Monitor your site’s crawling and indexing
Learn these few key steps in monitoring your site’s crawling and indexing profile, including checking your site if Googlebot encounters issues on availability. Monitor your pages designed for crawling but were not crawled to assess what needs to be crawled promptly to improve your site’s efficiency. Handle over-crawling of your site and check your website’s URLs’ current status with Google’s URL inspection tool. Request Google to crawl or recrawl any of your website pages or even view a rendered version of your page.
11 – Check Whether Googlebot Encounters Availability Issues
Improving your site availability may indirectly increase your crawl budget and boosts your crawl rate based on your site’s crawl demand. Availability issues prevent Google from crawling your site, so it is better to check and treat them. Use the Crawl Stats report to see Googlebot’s crawling history when encountering availability issues on your site. Read the Crawl Stats report’s documentation to learn how to handle availability issues and manage your crawl budget effectively.
12 – Be diligent on your Crawl Budget
Google explains that crawling is not a ranking factor, which SEO professionals should cease from directly relating it to the crawl budget. However, for a large website with millions and millions of pages, managing a crawl budget does make sense. A fairly-sized site may not worry too much of a crawl budget, but Google emphasizes the need to prune your content. Consider optimizing or pruning if you have plenty of pages to save you time and resources for the best search results.
Be diligent in making small, progressive changes and scaling-up your metrics to optimize all your pages. Nothing on your website must be left unoptimized, and all content is actively contributing to your crawl budget for conversion and overall website health status.
13 – Prevent Low-Value URLs
Having many low-value-adding URLs negatively affects a site’s crawling and indexing based on recent analytic results and site studies. These low-value-adding URLs fall into and include faceted navigation session identifiers, on-site duplicate content, and soft error pages. Hacked pages, infinite space, low-quality spam content, and long redirect chains all harm your crawling status and crawl budget. Ensure your website URLs are in place during