Defining Crawl Budget
By the books of google the Crawl Budget is defined as " the number of URLs that Google BOT can and wish to scan" It derives from the Crawl Rate Limi, which is the maximum frequency limit of scanning and the Crawl Demand, that is the request to scan the domain / URL given by its popularity and the lack of freshness of the contents. Web services and search engines use web crawler bots, or “spiders,” to crawl web pages, collect information about them, and add them to their index. These spiders also detect links on the pages they visit and attempt to crawl these new pages as well.
Why is Crawl Budget important?
Crawl budget is a very important part of SEO which has just gained the spot and became quite a topic to discuss over but earlier on it was not given much consideration. One of the reasons for that is that they are not strictly required by each and every publisher. Crawl budget does not need much of a focus by webmasters and if the URLs are few, say less than a few thousand then it will crawl efficiently.
Crawl budget does become an issue for bigger sites who have to auto- generate pages based on URL parameters. To be able to prioritize what the search engines want to show and to increase their crawling effort, assigning a crawling budget is necessary.
Factors that might affect crawl budget
A lot of factors can affect the crawling of a site, having low value add URLs can be a major cause, these low value add URLs can be categorized as
On site duplicate content
Faceted navigation and session identifiers
Low quality content or spam content
Soft error pages
Such factors can drain crawl activity from pages of value and may cause significance delay in searching of good content.
How to optimize Crawl Budget
The ways in which search engines can optimize and manage crawl budget includes:
1. Keep the website clean, maintained and with reduced errors
Similar content can be available in different URLs. Sorting through multiple URLs can produce duplicacies. Try to keep your content clean, easy to access and organised, avoid unnecessary redirects, nesting, keeping the content in reach with three or less clicks, non-canonical pages, and blocked pages.
2. Use the feeds
RSS, XML, and Atom, are feeds that enable websites to deliver content to users even when they’re not browsing the specific website. This allows users to subscribe to sites most relevant to them and receive regular updates whenever new content is published. RSS along with providing good readership engagement is among the most visited sites by Googlebot.
3. Keep a check on Internal links
Internal links should always be present inside of a content to make sure that the reader is directed to the main objective of the page. Maintained and well organised site structure makes a content easy to discover by search bots without hampering crawl budget. Internally linked structure may also improve user experience if they are able to reach the desired area pf the website within three clicks.
4. Broken Links need to be fixed
The infamous 404 errors waste up the crawl budget. On performing huge URL update, or changing the path, search engines need to set up various 301 redirects with updating the links in the source code. So, it is better to have an answer in status code 200. Through a check with SEMrush, Visual SEO Studio, etc one can check all the status codes and correct them.
Crawl budget needs to become a part of search engine optimization if one wants search engines to find and understand most of their indexable pages, and to do that quickly. If crawl budget is wasted, search engines will not be able to crawl the website efficiently, rather the time will be spent on parts of the website which do not matter.