Not every page on a website is immediately indexed by Google. It might take weeks on occasion. Your SEO attempts can get hindered by this as your freshly optimized landing page may not have been indexed. When that happens, it’s time to maximize your crawl budget. In this article, we’ll explain the concept of a “crawl budget” and how to make the most of it.
There are several misconceptions about crawl budgets, from not having any control over the crawl limit to crawl frequency serving as a ranking indicator. Google has provided webmasters with clear instructions on how to optimize the crawl budget.
What’s a Crawl Budget?
The number of pages Google will crawl on your website each day is known as the crawl budget. Although it varies slightly from day to day, this number is generally consistent. Google may visit 6 pages on your website per day, 5,000 pages, or even 5,000,000 pages in a single day.
The main determinants of the crawl budget are crawl capacity and crawl demand. Your site’s size, its “health” (how many problems Google finds there), and the number of links pointing to it help in determining how many pages Google crawls, or your “budget.” This budget helps Google by not putting extra burden on its servers. It goes without saying that Google’s finite crawling resources are also essential in maintaining the crawl budget.
Should Every Website Worry About it?
Smaller websites shouldn’t be concerned about crawl costs if their main goal is to rank a few landing pages. However, bigger websites can quickly exceed their crawl limit, especially objectionable websites with lots of broken pages.
Large websites that run the greatest risk of exceeding their crawl budget typically have tens of thousands of landing pages. Therefore, crawl budgets frequently have a negative effect on some major e-commerce websites. Numerous business websites have many of their landing pages unindexed, giving them no chance to rank higher on Google.
For a few reasons, e-commerce websites need to be more careful about how they spend their crawl budget:
- Thousands of landing pages are automatically created by many e-commerce sites for their SKUs or for each location where they conduct business.
- Such sites frequently alter their landing page when items go out of stock, new products are added, or other inventory changes take place.
- Sites that sell products online sometimes have duplicate pages (like product pages) and cookies. Both are regarded by Googlebot as having “low-value-add” URLs, which has an adverse effect on the crawl rate.
The fact that Google reserves the right to change its crawl budget at any time presents another difficulty. Although a sitemap is a crucial step for large websites to optimize the crawling of their most crucial pages, you cannot guarantee that Google doesn’t use up all your crawl money on low-value or underperforming pages.
So How Can You Optimize a Crawl Budget?
Here are a few steps to better optimize a crawl budget for your website.
Step 1: Determine which webpages Google is crawling.
Up until recently, the crawl report from Google Search Console only provided information on the number of crawl requests a site received on a certain day. The best source to learn how Google crawls your site is still in your server log files, even if Google’s new Crawl Stats Report offers far more detailed info about crawling.
A certain user agent is used when Google visits your website. This notifies your server that the traffic is indeed coming from Googlebot and not a real person.
Website owners can examine the information in this log file and learn a lot about Google’s crawl budget for their website.
Step 2: Please understand that not every landing page needs a rank on Google.
The prime reason why so many websites waste their crawl budget is because they let Google to crawl every single landing page on their website. For Google to identify and crawl their pages, several websites even like to include all their pages in their mobile apps. This is incorrect, as not all your landing pages will rank on Google.
What advantage does a landing page have if it is indexed by Google? Conversion and ranking both. Why even take the chance of allowing Google to crawl any landing pages on your website that aren’t turning visitors into leads and sales?
It is important for website owners to understand which pages on their sites are most likely to rank well and generate conversions. Then, they must take full advantage of every opportunity to ensure that Google devotes crawl money to those pages with the highest performance.
Step 3: Elevate higher performing webpages for crawlers through internal linking.
The right pages of your website will receive greater attention from Google’s crawlers once you’ve determined which pages it is crawling. While doing so, update the relevant robot tags, remove or prune underperforming sites, and modify your sitemap as well.
Using your internal linking structure to promote those potentially high-performing pages is a more advanced technological approach.
Just like Googlebot only has a certain amount of crawl money, your website also has a limited amount of site equity depending on its Internet footprint. It is your duty to strategically maximize your equity. This entails investing site equity in pages that target keywords with a high chance of ranking, as well as in sites that drive traffic from the right targeted customers.
PageRank sculpting is the name for this kind of SEO tactic. An experienced strategist can conduct SEO tests to improve the internal linking profile of your website for better PageRank distribution.
Now, you must have a clear understanding about a crawl budget and how to optimize it to your benefit. Follow these steps and improve your SEO performance over time. After all, crawl budget optimization is more important than you think.