Crawl budget is the number of pages that search engine crawlers are allowed to visit on your website.
If you don’t have enough crawl budget, your website may not rank as high as it could be in search engine results pages (SERPs).
This article will explain why it’s so important for SEO and will also provide some tips on how to optimize your crawl budget and improve your website’s ranking!
- What Crawl Budget Means for Googlebot?
- Why Is Crawl Budget Important for SEO?
- Factors Affecting Crawl Budget
- How Can I Check My Crawl Budget?
- How to Optimize Crawl Budget?
What Crawl Budget Means for Googlebot?
To put it simply, crawl budget is the number of pages that Googlebot can and wants to crawl on your website.
This number is determined by a few factors, including:
- The size of your website
- The speed of your website
- How often your website’s content changes
- How many other websites link to your website
- Your crawl rate limit (the maximum number of pages that Googlebot can crawl on your site per day)
Google states that:
If new pages tend to be crawled the same day they’re published, crawl budget is not something webmasters need to focus on.
In a few words, if you don’t have a big site, with thousand of URLs, you don’t have to worry about it.
However, if you want to know more about it, keep reading!
Why Is Crawl Budget Important for SEO?
There are a few reasons why crawl budget is essential for SEO:
- It affects how often your website is crawled by search engine bots. If your website isn’t crawled frequently enough, it won’t be indexed as often, and you could miss out on ranking opportunities.
- It also impacts the freshness of your website’s content. If your website is crawl budget constrained, it’s more likely that your content will be stale and outdated. This can negatively impact your rankings, as search engines prefer to index fresh, relevant content.
Factors Affecting Crawl Budget
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a look at some of the factors that can impact your crawl budget.
- Faceted navigation and session identifiers
- On-site duplicate content
- Soft error pages
- Hacked pages
- Infinite spaces and proxies
- Low quality and spam content
Faceted Navigation and Sessions Identifiers
Faceted navigation is a type of website navigation that allows users to narrow down their search results by selecting various filters.
Session identifiers are unique IDs that are assigned to users when they visit a website.
Both of these can cause crawl budget issues because they generate a large number of URLs that serve the same content.
This can lead to search engine bots crawling your website inefficiently, using up valuable resources without providing any new or relevant information.
On-Site Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is another crawl budget issue that can occur on websites.
This happens when the same content is accessible via multiple URLs.
For example, if you have a blog post that can be accessed at both example.com/blog-post and example.com/blog-post?id=123, this would be considered duplicate content.
Not only does this cause Googlebot issues, but it can also lead to decreased rankings in SERPs.
Soft Error Pages
Soft error pages are pages that return a 404 error or other error code, but the content of the page is still accessible.
This can happen when a website’s URL structure changes and old URLs are no longer valid, but they haven’t been redirected to the new URL.
As a result, search engine bots crawl these pages, using up valuable crawl budget without finding any new or relevant information.
You can check the Crawl requests: Not found (404) in Google Search Console, under Settings->Crawl stats:
If your website has been hacked, it’s likely that there will be a large number of malicious URLs added to your site.
These pages can consume a lot of crawl budget without providing any value.
In addition, these pages can also negatively impact your rankings as they often contain spammy or low-quality content.
Infinite Spaces and Proxies
Infinite spaces are pages that contain an infinite amount of content, such as a search results page.
This can happen when there is a bug on the website that generates an infinite number of results.
Proxies are websites that act as an intermediary between users and other websites.
They can also cause crawl budget issues as they often generate a large number of URLs that serve the same content.
Low Quality and Spam Content
Low-quality or spammy content can also consume crawl budget without providing any value.
This type of content is often generated by bots and is not relevant to users.
As a result, it’s important to ensure that your website doesn’t contain any low-quality or spammy content.
How Can I Check My Crawl Budget?
There is a simple way to check your crawl budget, using Google Search Console.
Go to Settings -> Crawl Stats:
Here, you can see the average number of pages that Googlebot crawl per day.
You can also see how many kilobytes of data were downloaded, and the average response time.
Clicking on “Host Status“, you can see if your host had problems in the past:
You should see a green mark.
If you have a red mark on your host status, you need to check your:
- Robots.txt availability
- DNS resolution
- Host connectivity
Here’s a breakthrough of all the messages you can encounter:
You can also check the crawl requests breakdown, by:
- File type
- Googlebot type
How to Optimize Your Crawl Budget
Follow these best practices:
- Internal linking
- Use a sitemap
- Proper use of robots.txt
- Improve your website speed
- Write fresh and up-to-date content
- Use a flat website architecture
One of the best things that you can do to improve your crawl budget is to ensure that your website has a good internal linking structure.
Internal links are links that point from one page on your website to another page on your website.
They help search engine bots crawl your site by providing them with a path to follow.
In addition, they also help to distribute link juice throughout your website.
Use a Sitemap
Another great way to improve your crawl budget is to use a sitemap.
A sitemap is an XML file that contains all of the URLs on your website.
It helps search engine bots crawl your site by providing them with a list of all of the pages on your website.
In addition, it also helps to ensure that all of your pages are properly indexed.
Proper Use of Robots.txt
Robots.txt is a text file that contains instructions for search engine bots.
It helps to control how these bots crawl and index your website.
One of the things that you can do with robots.txt is to specify which pages you do not want to be crawled.
This can help to improve your crawl budget by preventing search engine bots from crawling pages that don’t contain any new or relevant information.
Here are a few examples of valid robots.txt URLs:
Improve Your Website Speed
Another great way to improve your crawl budget is to improve your website speed.
Search engine bots crawl websites at a much slower rate than users.
As a result, if your website is slow, it will take longer for these bots to crawl your site.
Write Fresh and Up-to-Date Content
One of the best things that you can do to improve your crawl budget is to write fresh and up-to-date content.
Search engine bots crawl websites more frequently when they contain new or updated information.
As a result, by writing fresh and up-to-date content, you can help to ensure that your pages are crawled more often.
Use a Flat Website Architecture
Another great way to improve your crawl budget is to use a flat website architecture.
Flat website architecture is one in which all of your pages are accessible from the home page.
This helps search engine bots crawl your site more efficiently as they don’t have to crawl through a lot of links to find the information that they’re looking for.
Crawl budget is an important factor for SEO and should be taken into consideration when optimizing your website.
There are a few things that you can do to improve it, such as using a sitemap, internal linking, and writing fresh and up-to-date content.
By following these best practices, you can help to ensure that your website is properly indexed and ranked by search engines.
Do you have any questions?
Leave a comment below and let me know!
I’m always happy to help.