Larger websites need to improve their website crawl budget to ensure that their pages are being indexed as quickly as possible. Further, many of the practices that will increase your crawl budget are essential to overall website health and may improve other things like user experience and load speeds as well.
What Does Crawl Budget Mean?
Two factors make up a website crawl budget, as outlined by Google. Crawl budget is made up of both crawl demand and crawl speed. Crawl speed is how many of your pages Googlebot or another “spider” can crawl in a set amount of time. Demand is how much it wants to crawl specific pages and how often it will do so.
Who Needs to Improve Their Crawl Budget?
If your website has over, say, 3,000 URLs, then you may want to improve your crawl budget by taking advantage of these and other tips. If you have fewer URLs than that, your site should already be crawled efficiently. If it’s not, then you may have more significant problems, or you may need to increase “crawl demand” rather than other factors significantly.
Five Easy Ways to Increase Your Crawl Budget
- Increase “Demand” by Increasing Overall Traffic – By using things like paid media services, it’s possible to drive more traffic to your website. This increases its popularity. The more popular a site is, the better it ranks. The better a site ranks, the more attention search engines will give it.
- Increase Inbound Links for New URLs – Another way to increase demand or make a search engine want to crawl your webpages is to create new links. When a new link to a page is found, it increases crawl demand. However, it’s essential that you maintain your links and don’t allow them to become broken. This has the opposite effect.
- Eliminate Errors and Redirects – If possible, you want to get rid of any and all errors and reduce the number or redirects your site serves up. First, check your website’s error logs. This will show you how many times Google and visitors to your site end up looking at an error page rather than the page they meant to navigate to. Each of these dead ends can end up in a lost opportunity and slow down a crawl.
- Update Your Content More Often – To encourage the spiders to index your content more often, you want to update it. This prevents it from getting stale and encourages the spiders to crawl your content more often to keep it “up to date.”
- Block Any Duplicate Content in Robots.txt – As a general rule, if your website has any content that doesn’t add value, it doesn’t need to be indexed. That’s why it should be blocked. This means that during a crawl, it will be avoided and won’t impact your crawl budget.
Crawl budget is an advanced topic. It’s not something you can fix overnight, even if you have experience doing so. Larger websites with more pages and content, even with regular maintenance, can rack up hundreds of errors in their server logs each day. That’s a lot to get through, but it will improve your crawl speed the most.