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Crawl budget in seo

The Importance of Crawl Budget in SEO- A Definitive Guide!

Wondering how crawl budget can impact your SEO endeavors? Read this blog to get your answers!...

For your page to appear on search results, it must first be discovered and comprehended by search engines. The process that makes this possible is known as crawling, and the entities that go about this are called crawlers. 

Okay, neat. Now, onto the tricky bit. You see, the thing is that the internet is an absolute behemoth. It comprises nearly 4 billion indexed pages of content, with the average size of each page being approximately two megabytes. Now, if search engines were to attempt crawling all of these pages, you can very well imagine the sheer loss of computing resources and storage that such an activity would invite. Hence, they must confine themselves to only collecting data they really need. So, what determines that? You guessed it: a crawl budget. 

Having helped several businesses spanning diverse domains with their SEO requirements for over a decade now, we at Mavlers are always eager to share with our readers the learnings we acquire during our time in the field. 

Are you unfamiliar with the crawl budget? No problem! In today’s blog, we’ll help you not only understand it but also shed light on its significance from an SEO perspective. Are you interested in discovering what’s in store? Dive in, then!

A quick introduction to crawl budget

What is a crawl budget? It refers to the time and resources allocated by search engines to crawl a website and index its pages within a specific timeframe. Crawl budgets are important because they help search engines avoid wasting resources on sites with low-quality content or that update infrequently (and in some extremely unpleasant cases, one encounters a combination of both).

Websites that are assigned a higher crawl budget get indexed more regularly and thoroughly. This, in turn, does a whole world of good to their visibility. Therefore, optimizing your site for a crawl budget becomes rather non-negotiable. 

Now, let’s address the most critical bit- the relationship of crawl budget with SEO. Well, from a technical SEO perspective, the crawl budget isn’t a ranking factor. However, if search engine bots happen to face crawl errors, keeping them from reading and indexing the content on your page, the likelihood of your pages appearing on SERPs diminishes. Knowing how to optimize crawl budget is critical because it ensures that important pages on your site are indexed by search engines, allowing them to understand your site’s content better and thereby boosting your chances of ranking better for relevant keywords. 

Factors that determine crawl budget

Every site is assigned a unique crawl budget. Two primary elements govern this:

1. Crawl demand

Crawl demand refers to how much Google (we’re narrowing down our dialogue from search engines in general to Google in particular because, in reality, every business out there optimizes their SEO strategy, keeping Google only in mind) is willing to crawl your site. 

This desire is determined by two factors: popularity and staleness. If a particular URL is extremely popular on the Internet, it is highly likely to be crawled frequently by Google. Some signals that alert Google to a site’s popularity are the volume of traffic, backlinks, and general buzz around the site. Backlinks are particularly critical among these signals. 

That said, remember that Google emphasizes the quality of backlinks more than quantity. Along with popularity, Google also monitors how frequently you update your website. If your website is “stale” i.e., updated very infrequently, then it will be crawled infrequently, too. Additionally, there are certain actions that when effected on your site indicate to Google that there are changes to crawl. These actions are URL structure change, XML sitemap submission, domain name change, and content updates. 

2. Crawl limit

Crawl rate limit or crawl capacity limit refers to the number of pages Googlebot is allowed to visit and process on your site within a fixed period. This limit is put in place to make sure its crawling doesn’t result in server overload. Because of the crawl limit, the bot won’t bog down your site with an excess of requests. If your page responds promptly, Google will increase the limit and employ more resources to crawl your site. Conversely, if Googlebot experiences any server errors, the limit will be reduced, and so will the resources deployed for crawling.

Optimizing crawl budget for SEO- tips and tricks

In this section, we take a look at a few techniques that will allow you to maximize the efficiency of your existing crawl budget. 

1. Monitor site speed

Previously, we discussed how the crawling of search engines is reliant on the resources available at your disposal. If your site is able to provide more pages in a given time, Google will crawl more of its pages. Therefore, optimizing your site speed is absolutely crucial to increasing the efficiency of your allocated crawl budget. Besides, improving your site speed also enables you to deliver a superior user experience, so you have all the more reason to fixate on this aspect of your website. 

Here are a few ways in which you can enhance your site speed:

  • Minimize your site’s code. Eliminate anything from it that borders on being redundant or unnecessary. Additionally, make use of browser caching to store data on the user’s computer. This way, the system wouldn’t need to reload it during every instance.
  • Make sure to optimize the images on your website. Images are critical to capturing a visitor’s attention, so there are no two ways to use them. However, should you fail to optimize them, they can incredibly slow down your page. Pay attention to the size of images you’re adding to your site, and also select the appropriate file type. There are a number of online tools at your disposal using which you can reduce the file size of your images without compromising on their quality.
  • Use a content delivery network (CDN). What a CDN does is send content to a user trying to access your site from a server that is closest to them, thereby ensuring a faster loading time for your page.

2. Keep an eye on your content quality

The ultimate goal of Google and other search engines is to answer their user’s search queries with information that is both relevant and of high-quality. Hence, if you regularly post original, compelling, and research-oriented content on your site, you’re guaranteed to attract larger crawl budgets and frequent crawling. 

Listed below are a few tips that can help up your content game:

  • Leverage your industry expertise while writing content. This way, not only will you be able to produce content with a unique perspective but also establish yourself as a thought leader within your domain.
  • Attempt to stay on top of your reader’s preferences. Possessing deep insights into your reader’s requirements and pain points will go a long way toward helping you curate an impactful content strategy.
  • Look to produce skyscraper content- identify the most widely-read content pieces in your domain and try to present a significantly more comprehensive and data-oriented version of it. 

3. Weed out technical issues

Technical issues can take myriad forms, such as:

  • Broken links- Bots can’t access these pages, and hence, if your site has broken links, your crawlability will be dealt a massive blow.
  • Duplicate content- If two pages on your site are 85% identical, they will be deemed duplicates by bots. No search engine would want to waste its resources by indexing multiple identical pages; therefore, eliminating duplicate content is a must to get the most out of your crawl budget. 
  • Excessive redirects- Redirects take bots from one page to another, thereby forcing them to exercise more resources. This can adversely impact your crawl efficiency. So, if your redirects are not logical, you should look to avoid them altogether. 

Apart from affecting your crawlability, technical problems can also fetch your site penalties. Thus, you should regularly perform site audits. 

4. Create a robust and logical internal link structure

Crawlers love internal links because they act as a guide for them to uncover and rank new pages. Pages that have plenty of internal links are highly likely to be crawled by Google. Grouping related pages to form a topic cluster is another smart tactic that can improve your crawl efficiency.

Wrapping It Up

Having a clear understanding of the crawl budget and its relevance to SEO will enable you to make effective changes to your site and improve its performance by leaps and bounds. Want to engage us in a discussion regarding any of the tangents discussed above? We’re always ears! Let us know in the comments below

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Prajakti Pathak - Content Writer

Prajakti is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at Mavlers. She brings with her a rich content creation experience of over 10 years. A creative mind and a good hold on syntax make her traverse her writing through different forms of content including blogs, interviews, infographics, case studies, etc. While writing is her first love, she’s also an avid birdwatcher.

Rohan Kar - Content Writer

Rohan Kar works as a senior content writer at Mavlers. An engineering graduate, he was quick to realize that his calling lied in other pastures. When not writing, he can be found participating in elaborate movie marathons or aggressive book circle discussions.

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