Crawl budget in SEO refers to the number of pages on a website that search engines, like Google, will crawl and index within a given timeframe. It’s a concept that primarily impacts larger websites, as they have more pages that could potentially be crawled.
Understanding and optimizing for crawl budget is crucial for ensuring that the most important pages on a website are being regularly indexed by search engines. The crawl budget is determined by two primary factors:
This limit is set by search engines to ensure that their requests (i.e., crawls) do not overload a server. Factors that can influence the crawl rate include the server’s health, actual crawl rate (as seen by the site), and crawl errors (like 5xx status codes).
Even if there’s capacity to crawl, search engines might not want to. This can be due to a lack of popularity or freshness of a page, or the page being marked as duplicate, non-canonical, or having low-quality content.
To optimize your crawl budget:
Pages Make sure your most critical pages are easily accessible and are not buried deep within your site’s structure.
Avoid publishing the same content on multiple URLs.
Use the robots.txt file to disallow crawling of low-value pages or sections of your site.
A faster website can help search engines crawl more pages in a shorter time.
Regularly update and submit your XML sitemaps to inform search engines about the important pages on your website.