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What is a Crawl Budget?

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crawl budget is a total number of website pages or URLs that a Crawler Bot, or spider, crawls/indexes in a day. This is based on two things.

1. Crawl Rate Limit

The crawl rate limit determines how many times a crawler bot can crawl a site, and how fast it can do it. This is dependent on ‘crawl health’ and whether the web page has set a limit in the Search Console.

2. Crawl Demand

The crawl demand measures how much the crawler bot wants to crawl a website. This is determined by how popular the site is and how regularly you update your site.

Why is Crawl Budget Important for SEO?

A crawl budget is important because it allows a website’s pages to be found by crawler bots and ensures that new content is identified and indexed quickly.

If Google doesn’t index a page, it’s not going to rank anywhere and for anything.

So if your number of pages exceeds your site’s crawl budget, you are going to have pages on your site that aren’t indexed.

It is therefore important to ensure that the pages on your website are found by crawler bots/spiders and subsequently indexed to give them a fair chance of ranking on Google.

How does a Crawler work?

A crawler spider is a lot less frightening than its real life equivalent. Crawlers are actually very helpful to web page owners and end users.

They work by scouring the net, jumping from link to link, and looking for updated content or new web pages.

When they find a new page, for example, they copy the site’s information and store it in the index. Google’s algorithm later processes this information.

What Factors Affect Crawl Budget?

There are a wide range of factors that negatively affect the crawl budget. Try to avoid the following:

  • Pages with thin or little content
  • Duplicated content/article spinning (this includes meta and title tags)
  • Slow load time
  • Stale content
  • Hacked pages, or pages with viruses
  • Pages with broken links
  • Pages that are difficult to navigate

How can you Optimise your Crawl Budget?

As indicated above, spiders are drawn to quality content, so ensure your pages are delivering on that to optimize your crawl budget and ensure your pages are crawlable.

Below are some key strategies for optimizing the crawl budget.

1. Update Content

Rewrite any pages with weak content and update regularly. Make sure all your content is unique and add new pages. This will positively affect the crawl demand.

Here are some tools to help you with creating, updating, and optimizing content:

  • Surfer SEO
  • Frase

2. Improve Site Speed

The faster your site can run, the more requests it can handle. This will improve the crawl rate limit.

screenshot google page speed disgnostic - crawl budget

3. Watch out for Flash, AJAX, and JavaScript

You need to ensure that a web crawler bot can crawl your site as easily as possible. For this reason, avoid using Flash, AJAX, and JavaScript in your site’s navigation.

4. Make Sure you use Internal Links

The crawler bots like a lot of internal links because it means that they can navigate your site easily and index more quickly.

There are tools out there to help you optimize your internal link strategy. Some of these tools include:

  • SEO Smart Links
  • SEO Ultimate (Deeplink Juggernaut)
  • Better Internal Link Search

5. Block Sections in your Site

If there are parts of your website that are no longer relevant or being used block them, so the bots don’t crawl them. You can do this by using robots.txt.

How Can We Help?

Feeling overwhelmed by the tasks needed to improve your crawl budget and need some help?

Get in touch and we could team you up with some awesome marketers to work through them step by step.

Alternatively, if you think you can handle it but just need that push – check out our training courses where we’ll show you our favorite and most effective SEO practices that you can then implement in your own time.

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