One of the most underrated concepts in search engine optimization is that of a crawl budget. This article explores what it is and why it is such an important topic, especially for very large websites with tens of thousands of pages.
In short, the crawl budget is the number of web pages Google’s spiders crawl on your website on a given day. It depends on the size of a website, the number of errors Google encounters on a website, and the number of links to the website.
Google’s bots are typically busy accessing millions of web pages. In fact, the entire SEO domain is up to date to get crawlers’ attention. SEO specialists want bots to crawl as many of their web pages as possible to ensure that more and more pages are being indexed and rated.
About the author
Julia Nesterets is the founder of the SEO crawler Jetoctopus
Search engines do not have unlimited resources. Hence, they need to prioritize their crawling efforts. You need to determine:
– How to prioritize websites over the others
– What content to crawl (and what to ignore)
– Whether certain pages should be redrawn frequently or should never be called up again
These factors define the way search engines access and index online content. This is where the crawling budget and its optimization come into play.
The crawl budget is the number of pages that the bots crawl and index within a certain period of time. If search engines can’t crawl your page, it won’t get ranked in the SERPs. That is, if the number of web pages exceeds your crawling budget, more pages will be displayed that are not crawled and indexed.
By assigning a crawl budget, search bots can efficiently crawl your website and thus increase your SEO efforts. In this way, the search engine divides the attention to the millions of pages that are available on the web.
By optimizing the crawl budget, it can be ensured that the most important content of your website is crawled and indexed.
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Google explains that most websites don’t have to worry about the crawl budget. However, when a website is quite large, spiders need to prioritize what to crawl and when. They also need to determine how many resources the server hosting the website can allocate for crawling.
Various factors such as low-value URLs, broken or redirected links, duplicate content, incorrect index management problems, broken pages, website speed problems, hreflang tag problems, and overuse of AMP pages can affect, among others Affect your crawl budget. By managing these factors, users and crawlers can easily access your most important content and avoid wasting their crawling budget.
It is also important to monitor how the crawlers visit your website and access content. The Google Search Console provides useful information about your website’s index maintenance and search performance. In the Legacy Tools section, you can also find a Crawl Statistics report, which shows the bot’s activity on your site over the past 90 days.
By analyzing the server log file, you can also determine exactly when the crawlers visit your site and which pages they visit frequently. Automated SEO crawlers and log analyzers can search your log files to find broken links and errors that bots have encountered while crawling your website. Additionally, the tool can check your redirects and optimize your crawling budget to make sure the bots are crawling and indexing as many important pages as possible.
If you waste your crawl budget or fail to optimize it, your SEO performance will suffer. Pay special attention to the crawl budget if:
- You own a huge website (especially an ecommerce website that has 10,000+ pages).
- You have just added new content or web pages
- Your site has a lot of redirects and redirect chains (as they consume the crawling budget).
- Your web hosting is slow
What about SEO cut?
Google algorithms are trained to put quality before quantity. Therefore, it is advisable to trim or cut off the underperforming websites in order to optimize the crawling budget and improve the domain quality score and the UX.
Removing outdated and underperforming web pages or content from Google indexing is known as SEO cleanup. However, it is not strictly necessary to delete these pages from a website (although sometimes it seems like the best option!).