Crawl Budget Optimization – Necessary to Improve the Website’s Overall Health
SEO is all about optimizing tiny little metrics of a website and making incremental changes to increase its conversion and to make its interface as user-friendly as possible. However, no single strategy works every time. There are multiple factors involved when it comes to search engine optimization to improve the ranking of our business website.
One often neglected factor that can indirectly affect your website ranking is the crawl budget. Since it is not a direct ranking factor, small to moderate-sized business websites often overlook its importance. Many of you might not even be aware of exactly what does a crawl budget means.
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What is the crawl budget and why it is limited?
Search engine crawlers, mainly spiders and bots crawl many different URLs on your website and index them over a given period. The frequency with which the domain pages of your website are crawled is basically what is known as Crawl Budget.
Google allocated a limited crawl budget for each website so that Google can crawl your domains for indexing without overcrowding your website with crawler requests. This could slow down your system and affect the performance of your site and eventually affects the user experience.
However, crawling is important so that all updates on your website are quickly indexed. This is why crawl budget optimization is an important SEO strategy that is often overlooked.
Top ways to optimize SEO Crawl Budget
Now that we know that crawling is an important step for indexing, let us see some steps that we can follow to optimize the crawl budget to increase the crawling frequency by bots without affecting the speed and quality of user experience. Some of these steps are:
- Optimization of Robot.txt file strategically:
- For optimal utilization of crawl budget for larger websites, the strategy of Robot.txt file can be applied in 2 steps.
- Firstly, unblock relevant content pages from the file to make them crawlable.
- Secondly, disallow indexing of unnecessary files, administrative pages, and user login pages.
- Be careful with Redirect chains:
- Redirect chains eat away the crawl budget.
- While it is easier to avoid redirects by small websites, larger ones have to face 301 and 302 redirects frequently.
- A couple of redirects won’t make much difference but a chain of such redirects is going to hurt your crawl limit.
- This is because redirects will stop the engine from crawling after some time and the crawler will miss out on important pages that required indexing.
- Avoid duplication of URLs:
- Duplicate URL variations will eventually drain your crawl budget.
- The best way to avoid this from happening is by informing Google about these URL parameter variations by simply entering them in the Google Search Console Account under the report section of the head, “URL parameters”.
- Keep updating the sitemap:
- XML sitemap should contain all important URLs that you want the bots to crawl more frequently.
- So, keeping it updated will give a better understanding of your internal links.
- Fix HTTP errors:
- Server errors and broken links like 404 errors must be fixed immediately.
- This is important for 2 reasons. First, it eats up the crawl budget and secondly, it negatively affects the user experience.
- Use a website audit tool to make the work easier for you and fix any 4xx or 5xx status as soon as they appear.
- Stick to HTML
- HTML is a standard that is easily crawlable by all search engines and not just Google.
- By Sticking to HTML, you will improve your chances.
- Work towards increasing the site speed:
- This is a brainer; a high-site speed will permit more crawling frequency without affecting the user experience.
Now, that you have got a fair idea of why crawling is important, put in some efforts into its optimization to improve your ranking in the search engine. While relatively new and small websites should not be much concerned about the crawl budget, larger ones with multiple pages monitor it more effectively.
Optimization of crawl budget does improve the SEO performance of all the professionals in this field.