OPTIMIZATION GLOSSARY

Crawl Budget

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:

Crawl Rate Limit

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).

Crawl Demand

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:

Prioritize Important

Pages Make sure your most critical pages are easily accessible and are not buried deep within your site’s structure.

Reduce Errors

Regularly check Google Search Console for crawl errors and address them. 4xx and 5xx errors can waste your crawl budget.

Limit Duplicate Content

Avoid publishing the same content on multiple URLs.

Use Robots.txt Wisely

Use the robots.txt file to disallow crawling of low-value pages or sections of your site.

Optimize Site Speed

A faster website can help search engines crawl more pages in a shorter time.

Keep XML Sitemaps Updated

Regularly update and submit your XML sitemaps to inform search engines about the important pages on your website.

By understanding and optimizing for crawl budget, website owners can ensure that search engines are focusing their crawling efforts on the most valuable and relevant pages of the site.

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