Crawl budget refers to the number of pages a search engine will crawl on your website within a specific timeframe.
It’s an essential concept in SEO because if search engines don’t crawl your pages, they won’t index them, which means they won’t appear in search results.
The crawl budget is influenced by several factors:
Table of Contents
Crawl Rate Limit
This is the maximum number of requests a crawler will make to a site.
If a site responds quickly, the crawl rate will be higher. Conversely, if the site slows down or responds with server errors, the crawl rate will decrease.
If your website frequently experiences server errors, downtime, or slow response times, search engines might reduce the crawl budget to avoid overloading your server.
Pages that are more popular tend to be crawled more often than less popular ones.
This is because search engines want to ensure that the most popular pages are indexed with the most up-to-date information.
If you update your content frequently, search engines will crawl it more often to keep their index updated.
Number of Pages
Larger sites, especially those that add new content regularly, might require a larger crawl budget than smaller sites.
Providing a clear and concise sitemap can help search engines understand the structure of your site and prioritize which pages to crawl.
A well-structured internal linking strategy can help search engine crawlers find and index content more efficiently.
This file can be used to block search engines from crawling certain parts of your site, which can free up your crawl budget for more important pages.
Having a lot of redirects, especially chains of multiple redirects, can eat up the crawl budget as crawlers need to follow each redirect to get to the final page.
If your site has a lot of duplicate content, search engines might reduce the crawl budget as crawling the same content repeatedly is wasteful.
If your site uses a lot of URL parameters (e.g., for tracking or sorting options), it can create many duplicate pages, which can consume the crawl budget.
A faster-loading site can be crawled more quickly, leading to a more efficient use of the crawl budget.
Do Backlinks Influence Crawl Budget?
Yes, backlinks can influence SEO crawl budget, but not always directly.
Here’s how backlinks can have an impact on SEO crawl budget:
Discovery of New Content
Backlinks from high-quality and frequently crawled websites can lead search engine crawlers to discover and index new content on your site faster.
If a new page on your website gets a backlink from a popular site, there’s a good chance that search engines will crawl that page sooner.
Site Authority and Trust
Websites with a higher number of quality backlinks are often seen as more authoritative and trustworthy.
Search engines might allocate a higher crawl budget to authoritative sites because their content is deemed valuable and relevant to users.
Quality backlinks can drive more organic traffic to your site.
While traffic itself doesn’t directly influence crawl budget, a surge in traffic can indicate to search engines that your site is becoming more popular or has updated, relevant content.
This might lead to an increase in crawl frequency.
Backlinks that point to deep pages (pages that aren’t the homepage or main category pages) can help search engines discover and crawl those deeper pages.
Without such backlinks, some deep pages might remain uncrawled, especially if they’re not well-linked internally.
Relevance and Freshness
If your site receives backlinks due to news, events, or trending topics, search engines might increase the crawl frequency to ensure they have the most up-to-date content on that topic.
However, while backlinks can influence crawl budget indirectly, they are just one of many factors that search engines consider.
The overall health, structure, and content quality of a website play a more direct role in determining its crawl budget.
Crawl Budget — Whiteboard Friday
To optimize your crawl budget, it’s essential to monitor your server’s health, improve site speed, reduce duplicate content, use sitemaps, and ensure a logical site structure with effective internal linking.