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Crawl Budget: Definition, Function, Factor, and the Tips

Last updated: Nov 14, 2022

What is the Crawl Budget?

Crawl budget is the number of URLs on a website that web crawlers can and want to crawl in a certain period of time. This means if the number of URLs crawled has reached a certain limit in that period, the crawler will stop accessing your website and move to another website.

Every website has a different “budget”. The amount is determined by Google based on the crawl rate limit and demand. Here, the crawl rate limit means the limit on the number of website data accesses. While crawl demand is the number of indexing requests that are influenced by the popularity of the website.

The Importance of Crawl Budget in SEO

Why does Google set a crawl budget? Since search engines work by managing billions of pieces of information on the internet, they must prioritize the crawled pages in order to work effectively.

For most webmasters, a "budget" is nothing to worry about. The reason is that Google states that websites with fewer than thousands of URLs can almost certainly be crawled efficiently.

However, you may need to pay more attention to your budget if your website publishes up to a dozen pieces of content a day, has a very large number of URLs, and has a lot of redirects.

Factors that Affect Crawl Budget

In order to streamline the crawling process, Google will not give priority to websites that have a lot of low-quality URLs. Google categorizes low-quality URLs based on the following factors:

  • Faceted navigation: Page navigation in the form of filters that are usually used on e-commerce websites. This navigation can produce many combinations of URLs, so the budget will be wasted.
  • Session identifiers: The use of this website feature can add parameters to the URL so that it produces many combinations of URLs for the same page. This can make crawling ineffective.
  • Infinity spaces: A large number of links that have no or little content to index because it does not index important pages. The crawling process on a number of these links will waste the budget.
  • Low-quality content: URLs with low-quality content don't respond to audience needs, have a lot of keyword stuffing, and have a poor user experience.
  • Duplicate content: If there are two URLs with the same content being crawled by Google, of course this will be a waste of budget.
  • Pages with soft errors: URLs with soft errors will still be visited because the status code is 200, even if the page does not exist. Better, use the 404 Not Found status code so that crawlers skip the link.
  • Hacked website: If your website has been hacked, your website content may be jumbled, making the crawling ineffective. 

Crawl Budget Optimization Tips

After comprehending the significance of a crawl budget in SEO, you must be able to optimize its utilization so that it is used effectively and important pages on the website are indexed by Google. Here are some tips that you can follow to optimize the "budget".

Improve Website Architecture

You certainly want every page of your website, especially those that have an important role, to be visited by crawlers as often as possible. The goal is for Google to always serve up the latest content to users.

That is why the website's architecture must be good in order for it to be visited more frequently. It will be easier for crawlers to navigate the contents of the website and find every page that is there.

Improve Website Performance

Website performance affects not only the user experience but also web crawlers. This is because a slow-loading website will take a lot of time for crawlers to process the URL. The faster a website loads, the more URLs it can visit and index. 

Add More Internal Link

Crawlers rely on links, whether internal or external, to explore various content on the internet. It can be difficult to obtain external links because you have no control over them.

Even so, you can maximize the use of internal links on the website. Make sure that every page is linked via internal links, and avoid orphan pages that can hinder the crawling process.

Avoid Duplicate Content

Google does not want to waste time and produce irrelevant results by indexing the same multiple pages. If this happens, Google will reduce the website's “budget” to avoid duplicate content. So, make sure the content you create is free from duplication issues.

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