How to increase your Google crawl budget.

General Reading Time: 4 minutes

In the ever-changing landscape of SEO, one often overlooked yet crucial aspect is managing your Google crawl budget effectively.

Your crawl budget dictates how many pages Googlebot can and will crawl on your site within a given time frame. Ensuring optimal use of this budget can significantly enhance your website’s visibility and indexing efficiency. In this guide, we will delve into strategies to maximise your Google crawl budget.

Understanding Google Crawl Budget

Before diving into the optimisation strategies, it’s essential to understand what a crawl budget is. Essentially, it is the number of pages Googlebot crawls and indexes on your site within a specific period. This number is influenced by factors such as your site’s overall health, the number of links to your site, and your server’s performance.

Improve Site Structure and Internal Linking

A well-structured site is easier for Googlebot to navigate. Here’s how you can enhance your site structure:

Clear Hierarchy

Organise your site with a logical, clear hierarchy. Ensure that your important pages are easily accessible from the homepage. This not only helps users navigate your site but also aids Googlebot in discovering and indexing your content efficiently.

Sitemaps

Submit an XML sitemap to Google Search Console. A sitemap provides Google with a roadmap of your site, helping it find all your essential pages. Regularly update your sitemap to reflect changes on your site.

Internal Links

A strategic internal linking structure helps Googlebot discover all important pages. Link to relevant pages within your content to create a web of interconnected pages, ensuring none are left unnoticed by the crawler.

Optimise Crawl Efficiency

Improving the efficiency with which Googlebot crawls your site can significantly impact your crawl budget:

Robots.txt

Ensure your robots.txt file is correctly configured to block unnecessary pages from being crawled. This might include admin pages, duplicate content, or any sections of your site that do not contribute to your SEO goals.

Noindex Tags

Use the noindex meta tag for pages that do not need to be indexed by Google, such as thank you pages, login pages, or any other non-essential content.

Canonical Tags

Utilise canonical tags to avoid duplicate content issues. This tells Google which version of a page is the preferred one to index, thereby conserving your crawl budget.

Improve Page Load Speed

A faster site improves user experience and allows Googlebot to crawl more pages within your budget:

Optimise Images

Compress and resize images to reduce load times. Use modern formats like WebP for better compression without compromising quality.

Minify Code

Minify CSS, JavaScript, and HTML files. This reduces the amount of data that needs to be loaded and speeds up your site.

Reduce Redirects

Limit the number of redirects on your site. Each redirect creates additional HTTP requests, which can slow down your site and waste crawl budget.

Regularly Update Content

Fresh content signals to Google that your site is active and worthy of frequent crawls:

Fresh Content

Regularly publish new and updated content. This not only attracts more visitors but also keeps Googlebot coming back to crawl new pages.

Remove Outdated Content

Periodically review your content and remove or update outdated information. Keeping your site relevant encourages more frequent crawling.

Monitor and Fix Crawl Errors

Identifying and rectifying crawl errors can ensure efficient use of your crawl budget:

Google Search Console

Regularly check Google Search Console for crawl errors and fix them promptly. This includes 404 errors, server errors, and any other issues that might prevent Googlebot from accessing your content.

404 Errors

Fix broken links that lead to 404 errors. Redirect them to relevant pages to retain link equity and improve crawl efficiency.

Increase Website Authority

A higher authority site often gets a larger crawl budget:

Quality Backlinks

Acquire high-quality backlinks from reputable sites. These not only drive traffic but also signal to Google that your site is trustworthy and valuable.

Content Quality

Ensure your content is valuable and engaging. High-quality content attracts organic links and encourages users to spend more time on your site.

Manage URL Parameters

Effectively managing URL parameters can prevent duplicate content and conserve crawl budget:

URL Parameters

Use Google Search Console to manage URL parameters effectively. Incorrect handling of URL parameters can lead to duplicate content issues and waste your crawl budget.

Enhance Mobile Usability

With Google’s mobile-first indexing, ensuring your site is mobile-friendly is crucial:

Mobile-Friendly Design

Ensure your site is responsive and mobile-friendly. Google prioritises mobile-optimised sites, and a seamless mobile experience can improve crawl efficiency.

AMP Pages

Consider implementing Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) for faster loading on mobile devices. AMP pages load quicker, providing a better user experience and encouraging frequent crawls.

Use Crawl Rate Settings in Google Search Console

Crawl Rate

You can set the preferred crawl rate in Google Search Console. However, use this feature cautiously as setting it too high might overwhelm your server, and setting it too low could slow down the indexing of your content.

Optimise Server Performance

A robust server setup ensures quick and efficient crawling:

Hosting

Use a reliable hosting provider to ensure your server can handle Googlebot’s requests efficiently. A good hosting provider can significantly impact your site’s speed and uptime.

Server Response Time

Optimise server response time to ensure quick access to your pages. A faster server allows Googlebot to crawl more pages within your crawl budget.

Leverage Structured Data

Schema Markup

Implement structured data to help Google better understand your content. This can enhance your search appearance and make your site more attractive to Googlebot.

Avoid Crawl Budget Wastage

Paginated Pages

Use rel=”next” and rel=”prev” for paginated content. This helps Googlebot understand the relationship between pages and crawl them more efficiently.

Thin Content

Eliminate or improve thin content pages that add little value. Focus on creating comprehensive, high-quality content that provides value to your visitors.

Use Pagination Correctly

Paginated Content

Properly configure paginated content to ensure Googlebot can easily navigate through the series. This prevents wasting your crawl budget on unnecessary pages.

So…

Maximising your Google crawl budget involves a multi-faceted approach that includes improving your site’s structure, enhancing page load speed, regularly updating content, and ensuring your site is mobile-friendly. By following these strategies, you can optimise your website for efficient crawling, ensuring that Googlebot can access and index your most important content effectively. Regular monitoring and continuous improvement are key to maintaining a site that not only meets Google’s standards but also provides an excellent user experience.

Tell us your thoughts:

Download our free guide to discover our unique approach and learn what it's like to work with us