Understanding your sites crawl budget for indexing





Blog Date

June 2, 2024


UK, Manchester

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Understanding your sites crawl budget for indexing

Understanding Your Site’s Crawl Budget for Indexing

As an SEO professional, I know the frustration all too well – you’ve put in the hard work, optimizing your content, and submitting it for indexing, but you’re just not seeing the results you expected. What gives?

Well, my friend, the issue may lie in something you might not have considered – your site’s crawl budget. You see, while creating amazing content is crucial, if the search engine bots can’t effectively crawl and index your pages, all that effort could be for naught.

Imagine you invited a group of friends over for a dinner party, but when they arrived, the front door was locked, the hallway was cluttered, and it took them forever to find the dining room. They’d probably get tired of the effort and just leave, right? Well, that’s kind of what happens when search engine bots try to crawl your site without an efficient crawl budget.

So, let’s dive in and explore the ins and outs of crawl budget, shall we? By the end of this article, you’ll have a solid understanding of what it is, how it impacts your SEO, and most importantly, how to optimize it for your ecommerce site.

What is Crawl Budget, Anyway?

Crawl budget is the number of pages that a search engine bot, like Google’s Googlebot, will crawl and index on your website within a given time frame. It’s kind of like a search engine’s version of a personal shopping budget – they’ve got a certain amount of time and resources to allocate, and they want to make the most of it.

Now, you might be thinking, “But I want Google to crawl and index ALL my pages!” Well, my friend, that’s not always the best approach. You see, search engines are designed to act a lot like humans – they want to find the best, most relevant content to serve up to their users. And if they have to wade through a bunch of low-quality or duplicate pages to get to the good stuff, that’s just going to slow them down.

Factors that Affect Crawl Budget

There are a few key factors that influence your site’s crawl budget:

Crawl Rate: This refers to the maximum number of pages a search engine bot can crawl simultaneously, as well as the time it takes between those crawls. Your site’s crawl rate can change over time, depending on factors like your server’s responsiveness and the overall quality of your content.

Crawl Demand: This is all about how popular or “fresh” your content is. If you’re constantly updating your product pages, blog posts, and other key areas of your site, Google is going to want to crawl those more frequently. On the other hand, if you’ve got a bunch of stale, outdated pages, they’re probably not going to be as high on the priority list.

Optimizing Your Crawl Budget

Now that we’ve got the basics covered, let’s talk about how you can optimize your crawl budget to ensure that the search engine bots are focusing on the right pages.

1. Identify and Eliminate Cruft
One of the first things our team does when auditing a new client’s site is to assess the “cruft” – those pesky pages that are just taking up space and distracting the bots. This could include duplicate content, out-of-stock product pages, or even developer test pages that you forgot to remove.

Inflow’s Cruft Finder tool can be a huge help in identifying these problem areas, so you can take steps to remove them or prevent them from being indexed.

2. Get Your Sitemap in Order
Just like a well-organized road map, a clean and clear sitemap can make it a breeze for search engine bots to navigate your site. Make sure your XML sitemap is up-to-date and accurately reflects the most important pages you want indexed.

And don’t forget about your HTML sitemap, too – this can be a great way to help users (and bots) find their way around your site.

3. Analyze Your Crawl Logs
Taking a deep dive into your server’s crawl logs can reveal all sorts of valuable insights about how the search engine bots are currently interacting with your site. You might uncover error pages, redirect chains, or even sections of your site that you didn’t even know existed.

Google Search Console’s Crawl Stats report can also be a great starting point if you don’t have access to your full log files.

4. Prune and Consolidate Content
Remember, the name of the game here is to make it as easy as possible for the search engine bots to find and index your most valuable content. That means taking a hard look at things like duplicate pages, out-of-stock product listings, and underperforming content, and deciding what’s really worth keeping.

Inflow’s eCommerce Content Audit Toolkit can be a huge help in identifying your top-performing content and pruning the rest.

5. Optimize for Speed
If your pages are taking forever to load, that’s just going to eat up your precious crawl budget. Make sure you’re implementing best practices for page speed optimization, like compressing images, minimizing HTTP requests, and leveraging browser caching.

6. Focus on Quality Content
At the end of the day, nothing beats creating consistently high-quality, valuable content that people actually want to read and share. The more your pages are linked to and referenced across the web, the more “crawl juice” they’ll get from the search engines.

So, keep that content strategy humming, my friends! Update your product pages, publish new blog posts, and make sure your evergreen content is staying fresh.

Putting It All Together

Your website’s crawl budget is truly the unsung hero of your SEO efforts. By taking the time to optimize and streamline your site’s crawlability, you’re setting yourself up for long-term success.

And let’s not forget, a well-optimized crawl budget isn’t just good for the search engines – it’s also great for your users. When they can easily find the content they’re looking for, that’s a win-win all around.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start optimizing that crawl budget! And if you need a little extra help, you know where to find us – MCR SEO is always here to lend a hand.

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