If you are reading this article then I assume that you are also looking for ways to optimize your crawl budget for SEO, right! Every webmaster must know that the crawling budget is one of the most important technical concepts in the SEO field. It is also because without crawling budget your site can’t get indexed by Google bots or crawlers. Without crawling, your site will not appear in the search engine results page on Google. But if your site is getting crawl and the results go in vain then it’s the right time to start focusing on optimizing your crawl budget.
Let me tell you that optimizing the crawl budget makes sure that no crawl budget goes waste. So optimizing your crawl budget will help search engines crawl and index the most important pages on your website. It will also have a positive impact on your ranking.
So let’s now start our article. Below given are the top 10 ways you can use to optimize the crawl budget to enhance your Search Engine Optimization.
Top 10 effective ways to optimize your crawl budget for SEO
1. Upgrade your site speed
Today, the most relevant part of any website is its speed. Can you visit a site if it takes more than 3-4 seconds? I will not, so will you, I guess. Why I have put this point at the top, this is because today’s speed is one of the most important ranking factors. It is a great usability factor and factor that affects the crawl budget. So how speed helps in crawling – when your website loads fast the Googlebot crawls more pages in less time. This actually shows that your site is healthy and fully optimized. Therefore, as a webmaster, your duty is to do every possible thing to make your website load faster on all devices.
2. Build up your site reputation
How the reputation of your site builds? Much visibility, traffic, click-through rates, and above all crawling URLs enhance your site reputation in the online world. This is the reason that popular URLs tend to crawl more often by search engines because they want to keep their content fresh in their index. However, in the SEO world, a backlink is the biggest factor in establishing the trust and site reputation. The same applies to you; if your pages have links from external websites then it will encourage search engines to visit these pages more often. Ultimately, it will result in an increase of the crawl budget. The problem you might face here is – getting external links is a difficult and herculean task in SEO. But if you do so then, it will surely improve your overall SEO.
3. Avoid using duplicate content
Can you afford to penalize your site by adding duplicate content in it? Yes, it is true that Google and other search engines can penalize your site if your site contains duplicate contents. This is a very common issue in eCommerce sites. And this makes the job of Googlebot more difficult because it has to decide which of the page to index first. If any page of your site is marked as duplicate by Google, all the crawling resources will go in vain. So how do you solve this problem? Here are some points you can follow-
- You can optimize your site XML to help search engines identify which pages from a site they should give priority.
- Try to use canonical URLs. They help specify the preferred URL or each and every page on your site.
- Use robot.txt and no index directive to block search engine bots from accessing and indexing duplicate content.
4. Optimize your site for internal linking
Internal as well as external links both are significant parts of any website. The difficulty here is that external links are hard to find and it’s easy for any webmaster to optimize their site for internal links. And search engine too gives more priority to the most important pages of a site. The more internal and external links a site will have, the easier it will be for search engines to find the important page on your site. So how optimizing internal links help crawl budget? Points to follow-
- Make sure all your important pages are linked from the homepage
- Ensure that the most valuable pages of your site have the greatest number of internal links.
- Also, make sure that all the pages of your site have at least one internal link pointing to them.
Don’t make the work of search engine bots more difficult by not having any internal link on your site page. It will otherwise waste your crawl budget.
5. Allow the crawling of important pages in Robot.txt file
It is very important to know that the most relevant pages of your site are crawlable. Therefore, make sure those pages are not blocked from the robot.txt file. Robot.txt file is an easy text file that allows you to instruct search engine robots on how to crawl your website. How will you utilize the crawl budget now? You need to block Google from crawling irrelevant user login pages, certain files, or administrative sections of the website. Make sure now to allow those files and folders to get index. This is the reason that it is considered one of the best ways to freeze the crawl budget for large websites.
Moreover, certain parts of your website don’t need indexing but still eligible to show up in search results – and this is where a robot.txt file comes in to help inform search engines and assist the crawling process.
6. Fix 404 error or HTTP server
404 errors are a very common error and it can occur for many reasons. As per Google, 404 errors are technically broken links that can eat up crawl budget because search engine crawlers keep these pages in their index and recrawl them if possible. You need to take a moment to check whether your site contains 404 errors or not. Do you know how to deal with this 404 error? You can solve this problem by login into Google Search Console and view the coverage error report. When you click on “submitted URL” you will see the list of affected pages that you can fix later. Another most common error is the misconfiguration of the HTTP server, a slow loading website containing a lot of thin content pages on your site.
In fact, you can also use screaming frog, and SEO ranking audit tools for covering technical SEO checklist points.
7. Don’t make a mistake of using thin content
This is another way you can use to optimize your crawl budget. Wondering what thin content is? If you know about duplicate content then this is a little similar to it. And if you get rid of thin content then you will surely improve your crawl budget by optimizing it. Let me now give you a definition of think content – thin content is a page on your site that have little and no value to the user. Thin content is basically low-quality pages or low-value pages of your site. For example – pages having less content, empty pages, old pages, low-quality pages, and many more. These pages are actually irrelevant for both users as well as search engines. So to optimize your crawl budget, you need to –
- Block them from search engines
- Remove them from the site
- Try and redirect them to any other valuable page to your site
- Improve their content to bring value to users and republish them
8. Don’t use too many redirects
The next issue that can slow down the performance of your website and crawl budget is an abundance of redirects on your site. A redirect is a process when a web page is visited at a certain URL, and then it changes to a different URL. For instance, you are searching on Google to visit ‘website.com/x’ but you get redirected to ‘website.com/y’ instead. Moreover, redirects are the best way to solve the problem of duplicate content and soft 404 errors, but adding them bulk in your site will create a problem. So if there are more 301-302 redirects available on a website, the search engine crawler will stop crawling your site, no indexing, and nothing will happen. Eventually, a lot of redirects will cause a waste of crawl budget.
9. Ensure that your website contains no hacked pages
Hacking has always been a big issue in the digital marketing field. As a website owner, it’s your duty to check whether your site is hacked or not. In case, your website is hacked then it will make a huge negative impact on crawl budget. And hacked pages are those pages that are placed on your site without your permission. Hacked pages basically manipulate visitors. Google always tries to keep hacked content out of search results. Moreover, Google will lose the trust of the site in reducing and index it less often. So to get rid of this problem, make sure to use a security service to monitor your website and check daily the ‘security issue’ of Google Search Console.
10. Try to make every page of your site crawlable
This is the last effective way that you can use to optimize your crawl budget. We all know that every website contains at least 20-50 pages (small website). But how many pages are actually crawlable? How will you know this? If your site pages are not crawled then the crawl budget will lower down. To make all your site pages crawlable make sure to follow given tips-
- Always use simple, clear, and non-dynamic URLs
- Make sure that your sitemap is up-to-date
- Try to use AJAX technology. It loads contents automatically.
Finally, you have reached the end of this article. After reading out all the top 10 ways to optimize the crawl budget, I hope you now have a clear idea of how to optimize the crawl budget for your site effectively and efficiently. I just only want to say that optimizing the crawl budget is almost like optimizing the site for technical SEO. In any way, this is a good practice to perform. So make sure the crawling process of your site is as effective as it can be.
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