There are certain aspects of SEO that make or break your digital marketing campaign. The crawl budget is one of these important aspects. It becomes very vital that you understand what crawl budget actually is and how you can go on to use it to up your digital marketing game and have an edge over the competition.
This blog will give you an in-depth insight into the following topics:
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So, let’s begin!
What is Crawl Budget?
The Crawl budget definition is simple – it can be considered as the numeric measure of the pages that search engines like Google use to assess the crawlability of your website at any point in time. This number will not be the same every time Google crawls your site. It will slightly vary, but it will be mostly around in the same range.
The complete working of Google and its convoluted algorithms are not yet decoded by experts, but to give you an idea, Google may perform the crawl on 10 pages every day, or scroll 10,000 pages, or even 5,000,000 pages.
So, what determines the number?
The actual number of web pages that Google crawls depends on how big your website is, the number of links you have there, and also the number of errors that crawlers encounter!
Bots, crawlers, and web spiders are put into action by search engines to gather viable information from your website and then use the information to index an order in which your website should rank on their search engines.
Knowing this, it becomes extremely important that you optimize your crawl budget so that the crawlers can effectively access information, analyze content quality, and get your website to rank higher. SEO crawl activities are very important for getting a higher ranking.
Also read: 7 Digital Marketing Mistakes You Must Avoid in 2020
Crawl Budget and SEO
As mentioned earlier, ‘crawl budget’ is a term that is often widely used in the world of SEO. The main thing to understand here is that the crawl budget is used to represent a variety of SEO methods, techniques, and concepts that serve as a pathway for bots to crawl.
Now, here is something you should think about: There are over 2 billion registered websites, and around 400 million that are very active. Search engine providers have limited sources even though 2 billion websites might have comparatively unlimited resources.
So, to get these crawlers to get the attention of your website and to do so effectively, the crawl budget becomes extremely vital.
Two important factors determine the crawl budget that gets assigned by the search engines:
- Crawl demand: Which are the websites that offer the highest relevance, overall popularity, and worthiness to crawl through?
- Crawl limit: What is the limit of crawling that a website can handle without becoming inefficient or that the website owner prefers?
It is commonly seen that many brands neglect the crawl budget that gets assigned to their website. This damages the SEO campaigns of these companies a lot and eventually hurts them in terms of SERP results as well.
The robots.txt file present on your website is what crawlers use as the foundation to move around inside your website, gathering vital information. The crawlers can cover the list of URLs efficiently and work through each one of them effectively.
How Google deems a website to be worthy of crawling is a trade secret, but factors such as backlinking and XML sitemap changes, definitely, play a huge role in crawling and adding to the SEO crawl demand.
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The Crawl ‘Budget’
The ‘budget’ aspect of this term is a straight-up description of the frequency of visits the bots make to your website. As discussed above, it depends on factors such as SEO crawl rate, demand, and more.
Here is something you should think about: A huge brand like Amazon will have multiple sections, and each of these sections will contain hundreds of pages. In total, the crawlers could be looking at a couple of thousands of pages!
Here, the perfect scenario would be of course to get all of these individual web pages indexed by the crawlers and get them to rank. But in many cases, making use of multiple redirect chains will negatively impact the SEO crawl budget.
It is now vital that you understand the SEO crawl and its importance.
Why is the Crawl Budget so important?
Whenever you have an SEO campaign, the goal is always to increase the visibility of your brand, thereby, driving more customers to your website to purchase your products or services.
With a higher ranking and an effective SEO implementation, you have an exponentially higher chance of visitors landing on your website and making a purchase, without which your brand might remain undiscovered even though you seem to provide the best products and services at competitive prices. Crawl budget optimization is very important to the brand in general as you might’ve guessed by now.
So, how do you find out the SEO crawl budget for your website?
Google Search Console can be used for this. The following steps denote how you can find out the SEO crawl budget for your website from Google:
- Log in to Google Search Console with the details of your account
- Choose the website that you have to find the crawl budget for
- Move to the ‘Crawl’ section to analyze and see the number of pages Google crawls every single day
The analysis part of it is very straightforward. Consider that the crawl budget for your website is around 100 pages every day, and it almost stays the same for a month. So, your monthly crawl budget will be around 100 (pages) times 30 days, i.e., around 3,000 pages in a month.
Google, in fact, says that it crawls millions of websites every single day, and a site with a higher crawl budget attracts the attention of crawlers, thereby, adding a lot of benefits to the business across the globe without much effort.
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How to optimize the Crawl Budget?
To make sure that your crawl budget is not wasted, there are numerous methods you can leverage to make the best use of crawlers.
Following are some of the most common ways to check and optimize the crawl budget of your website:
- Dead-end pages: It is very important that your website has multiple internal and external links on all of its pages. If there are no links on a web page, it is called a dead-end page or an orphan page. This means that Google will de-index the page as it takes the crawlers a lot of time to discover such orphan pages on SERP.
- No plagiarism: Not just Google, but all of the search engine providers will de-index your website if they find duplicate content or a high amount of plagiarism on your website against another. Hence, it is extremely vital to keep plagiarism as minimal as possible as it has a huge effect on your crawl budget and crawl rate.
- Link authority: If you have a brand or a website that is popular and ranks high, it means that you have a higher link authority with which it is very easy to garner the attention of the crawlers and help your website rank even better.
- Quality of the content: Just like all of the points discussed so far, the quality of the content on your website takes a lot of precedences as it is one of the major factors that add value to your website and the ability it has to rank on a search engine. High-quality, concise content is often liked by visitors and search engine crawlers alike.
- Internal links: If you have a website that has a lot of valid inter-linking done, then you will get the attention of the crawlers for sure. Moreover, when you think about the basic working of this crawling, you will understand that internal linking is the pathway that these crawlers take to visit all of the pages on your website.
- Website loading speed: It is no surprise that with a faster page loading speed comes higher chances of SEO crawl rate. Not just for crawl purposes, the user experience is greatly affected by the site loading speed as well.
- Blocking crawl access: If there are parts of your website (i.e., pages) that you do not wish to index on SERP, then you can block the crawlers from accessing them using the robots.txt file, thereby, preventing any negative effect these pages might have on the rank.
- Reduction of errors: It is vital that you fix all of the errors and the return codes that might have snuck onto your website due to a lot of factors. Errors on your site will have a huge negative impact on the rank and visibility, so it is important to hunt for errors and fix them timely.
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The crawl budget is the most important aspect of getting a website to be indexed effectively and to get it ranked higher on a search engine.
SEO professionals across the globe swear by crawl budget analysis and effectively tweak elements on their websites to get better visibility overall. An SEO campaign will see a good amount of success with developers working effectively on critical elements like the crawl budget.
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