- Crawl budget is an area that remains underrated in SEO.
- If you’re running a large-scale website, crawl budget is something that site runner can, and should, be optimized for SEO.
- April Brown talks about the basics of crawl budgeting, why it matters, and how you can optimize it for SEO.
Crawl budget is one of the most underrated concepts in SEO. Although most people might have heard of crawl budgeting, they might have considered using it, to begin with, or even think about it, when it comes to SEO. While some experts will tell you to ignore crawl rate, in truth, if you’re running a large-scale website, crawl budget is something that site runner can — and should — be optimized for SEO.
In this article, we’ll talk about the basics of crawl budgeting, why it matters, and how you can optimize it for SEO.
What is the crawl budget?
“A crawl budget is responsible for influencing crawl frequency,”
Michael Railsback, marketer at 1Day2Write and NextCoursework defined, further adding,
“And, it affects how quickly your updated content gets to the index since Google’s robots will scan your pages for updates and collect information, which will ultimately determine your position in search rankings. As a result, it should prevent Google from overcrowding your server, and have it crawl at a normal frequency.”
Why does a crawl budget matter?
Since Google is always assessing parameters to decide which of your pages should be ranked in searches and how fast to do so, you should optimize your crawl budget to achieve upscale online visibility. However, the number of pages your domain accommodates should never exceed your crawl budget, or else all pages over that limit will go unnoticed in search.
So, if you want to expand your online platform in the future, then keep reading.
How to optimize crawl budget
While there are still super heavy-duty things that many site runners might not think about, we’re here to unmask them for your benefit. With that said, here are six ways to enable crawl budget optimization, thus letting you watch out for things that might negatively affect your site.
1. Simplify your site’s architecture
Your website should be structured layer by layer, in the following order:
- The homepage
- Content pages
Afterward, review your site structure, before you organize pages around topics, and use internal links to guide crawlers.
2. Ensure that important pages are crawlable, not blocked
- Pages with duplicated content
- “Under construction” areas of your site
- Dynamically generated URLs
However, search engine spiders don’t always respect the instructions contained in robots.txt. Although a page may be blocked in robots.txt, Google doesn’t cache it, but may occasionally hit it.
Instead, use robots.txt to save up your crawl budget and block individual pages you don’t consider important. Or, if you don’t want Google to hit it, use metatags.
3. Beware of redirect chains
A common-sense approach to ensuring healthy website health, you must avoid having redirect chains on your entire domain. Yes, avoid the 301 and 302 redirects at all costs! If you start accumulating a bunch of those, they can definitely hurt your crawl limit, to a point where crawlers will eventually stop crawling without getting to the page you need indexed.
So, keep in mind that one or two redirects here and there might not hurt much, but don’t let that number grow.
4. Prevent 404 and 410 error pages
In truth, 404 and 410 pages can eat into your crawl budget. Plus, these pages can also hurt your user experience. So, what can you do?
Fix all 4xx and 5xx status codes. Doing this will ensure that your crawl budget isn’t eaten up. And, fixing these codes can ensure that users get a good experience on your site.
Website audit tools like SE Ranking and Screaming Frog are effective for optimizing crawl budget.
5. Update, update, update
“It’s important to take care of your XML sitemap by updating it every so often”, says Jai Tardent, a business analyst at Australia2write and Britstudent. “When you update your sitemap, bots will have a much better and easier time understanding where the internal links lead.”
In addition, as you update, use only the URLs that your sitemap is familiar with. And, the URLs should correspond to the newest uploaded version of robots.txt.
6. Manage your URL parameters
If your content management system generates a lot of dynamic URLs, they’ll eventually lead to one and the same page. However, by default, search engine bots will treat these URLs as separate pages, thus wasting your crawl budget and, potentially, creating content duplication concerns.
Therefore, manage your URL parameters, so that they don’t create duplicates and confuse search engine bots. In your Google Search Console account, go to “Crawl,” and then “URL Parameters.”
So, if you’re still not sold on the idea that crawl budget optimization is important for your website, please understand that it is because it helps your site not only get recognized in search results but also helps you prevent users from being led to a dead-end rather than your page.
We hope that this guide will help you optimize your crawl budget and improve your SEO in no time at all!
April Brown blogs at Thesis Writing Service and Write My Coursework. She also edits at Originwritings.com. As a freelance writer, she specializes in marketing and graphic design. In her spare time, she loves reading and traveling.