Crawl Budget: How To Optimize Your Website’s Crawl
What’s the definition of a crawl budget in SEO?
Crawl budget is a term invented by the SEO industry to indicate a number of related concepts and systems that search engines use when deciding how many pages and which pages to crawl. It’s basically the attention that search engines will give your website.
How do they assign a crawl to websites?
That’s based on two factors, crawl limit, and crawl demand:
1. Crawl limit/ host load: How much crawling can a website handle and what are its owner’s preferences?
2. Crawl demand/ crawl scheduling: Which URLs are worth to recrawling based on the popularity and how often it’s being updated.
How To Optimize Your Website’s Crawl?
It’s a key concept for SEO professionals because mismanaging your website crawl that can lead to Google not indexing pages of your site and ultimately losing valuable search traffic on your site.
While most of the sites don’t need to worry about crawl, if you run a website with more than 500k page, you need to focus on optimizing your site’s crawl budget. A few things which can affect your site crawl budget are;-
- On-site duplicate content
- Soft-error pages
- Low quality and spam content
- Faceted navigations and URL parameters
- Hacked pages.
The best approach to optimize the crawl is to start improving overall site speed and simplifying site structure as both of these will help both users and the Googlebot. Then work on the internal links, fix duplicate content issues and remove redirect chains.
Improve site speed
Google states that ‘making a site faster improves the user’s experience while also increasing the crawl rate.’ It enables compression, remove render-blocking JS, leverage browser caching and optimize images to give Googlebot time to visit and index all your pages.
Simplify website architecture
Structure the website layer by layer, starting with the homepage, then categories/ tags and finally, the content pages. Review your site structure, organize pages around topics and use internal links to guide crawlers.
Avoid orphan pages
As orphan pages have no external or internal links and no direct connection with the web, Google has a really tough time finding these pages.
If you are dealing with a massive site, crawl budget will be an important thing to keep in mind.