What Is Crawl Budget? 7 Tips To Increase Crawling Speed

Google defines crawl budget as the number of pages Google can and wants to crawl. But there are a lot of factors affecting the crawl budget and how it works. In this article, you will learn more about optimizing your crawl budgets.

In this article

  1. What Affects Crawl Budget?
  2. Is Crawl Budget A Problem?
  3. Factors Affecting Crawl Budget
  4. 7 Tips For Crawl Budget Optimization
  5. What Are The Benefits Of Optimizing Your Crawl Budget?
  6. Final Thoughts
  7. Related Reads

What Affects Crawl Budget?

A crawl budget is the maximum number of pages google can crawl if it wants to. Two things can affect the crawl budget. They are the crawl rate limit and crawl demand. These two are used to measure the crawl budget. What are they exactly?

Crawl Limit

Website owners can set limits in the Google search console about how much limit the website can take. This is called the crawl limit. The limit you set is the limit that a crawler will follow. Some websites cannot handle too much crawling, while some can. If the limit exceeds, a website may start to face stability and reliability issues. If the crawlers detect a stability or reliability issue in the website, they will stop crawling to avoid harming the website further.

Also, google will slow down the crawling process in a website if they receive too many server errors or too many many requests.

Crawl Demand

Google decides whether to crawl or not, depending on the website. The process of deciding is called crawl demand. It can also be described as how much Google wants to crawl. If the page is popular and has significant changes in it, Google will want to crawl more. The demand created by a website for Google to crawl is called crawl demand.

The demand is created by the number of quality and relevant links a website has. This way, Google will be able to prioritize and see if the page is popular enough to crawl. Google uses this method to prioritize all websites and pages on the internet. Another way to prioritize is by checking to see if a page has any changes to it. If a page remains stale without experiencing any form of changes, it will not be considered a priority, and Google will move on to the next site.

For example, if a crawler browses through a website and does not see any change the next day, it will wait three days to crawl again and then again a few days later. The period in between is infrequent, but after a point, if the crawler notices that there is no activity on the website, it will stop.

Is Crawl Budget A Problem?

Should you worry about the crawl budget? Yes and no. Yes, if your webpage has been inactive for a while and hasn’t experienced any new activity for a while. It is also a problem if the website’s internal links are not proper. No, if you have a popular website that experiences plenty of activity.

However, newer websites must be cautious about the crawl budget. The server of your website may support crawling, but for a crawler bot to crawl, there needs to be some sort of activity, and it has to be popular. For newer sites, this poses a problem because they won’t be as popular with search engine crawlers. If you have a new website, you need to have your pages crawled efficiently for search engine indexing, but Google may not know if it is worth it.

Larger sites with numerous pages also need to be aware of the crawl budget. Some sites have more than a million pages that are frequently updated. This can affect the site’s crawl budget. What this means is you need to work on your page speed.

Factors Affecting Crawl Budget

These are some factors that can affect the crawl budget.

  1. Slow page loading time
  2. Content that is duplicated
  3. Low-quality content
  4. 404 errors
  5. Session identifiers

7 Tips For Crawl Budget Optimization

7 Tips For Crawl Budget Optimization
Tips For Optimizing Crawl Budget

If your site has crawl budget issues, there are ways you can increase the crawl demand of your site and make it suitable for additional crawling.

1. Speeding Up The Server

Google crawls pages by downloading resources from a website and then processing them. You need to make the crawling process faster by enabling Google to download the resources faster. The speed at which Google downloads the resources makes an impact on the crawl budget.

2. Adding Links

Crawl demand depends mostly on the popularity of a website and the number of links, external and internal. So, if you want to increase the budget, increase the number of links on the website. Internal links are much easier since you will be the one handling the website.

3. Fixing Redirected Links

A redirect changes the URL and sends both user and the search engine to one that is different from the one they requested. Redirects are also not safe, as they leave the website exposed to attackers. Usually, these kinds of pages have low priority, but just to be on the safe side, it is best to pay attention to this possibility. Fixing redirects is good for website maintenance.

4. Improving Page Load Times

You can improve the page load time by optimizing JavaScript. Larger websites often have heavy JavaScript, and optimizing is a good option. Often, heavy JavaScript can add a few seconds to the loading speed of your page. A faster site speed can also help smoothen the user experience.

5. Checking Crawl Rate Limit

Google gives website owners the ability to change the crawl rate. You can change the crawl rate limit in the Google search console, where you will be given two options; 1. Let Google optimize, 2. Limit Google’s maximum crawl rate.

6. Increasing The Page Popularity

Link the popular pages closer to your site’s homepage. The closer they are, the better it is for search engines to browse them.

7. Using Canonical Tags

By using canonical tags, you can prevent search engine crawlers from indexing any duplicate content that might be present on your website. Instead, the crawlers will be able to prioritize the original version.

Aside from this, there are also other things that will not have an effect on the crawl budget.

1. Making small changes to the site, like small updates to the dates and punctuation, won’t have an effect on crawling. This is because Google knows if a change is significant or not.

2. The robots.txt is a file that informs Google where to go. The crawl-delay directive in robots.txt will slow down the crawlers. So, it is best to stay away from using robots.txt.

3. Removing third-party scripts won’t affect the crawl budget as they don’t count against the crawl budget.

What Are The Benefits Of Optimizing Your Crawl Budget?

Google has to browse through and index numerous pages. So, it makes sense for it to only focus on the pages that are popular and have quality content. This means crawlers only focus on the high-value parts of a website. By optimizing the crawl budget wisely, you will see the following benefits on your website.

  1. Google will be able to identify your pages as popular and make them a priority.
  2. Increases the frequency at which search engines crawl your site.

Final Thoughts

Improving your crawl budget can affect how Google views your website. The rate at which Google crawls won’t affect a website’s rankings. The crawl budget only becomes an issue if a website has issues with crawling and indexing. By focusing on the areas that need attention, you can increase the crawl limit of your website. 

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