What is a Crawl Budget?

What is a Crawl Budget?
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The crawl budget refers to the allocation of resources by search engine bots to scan websites. Since search engines do not have unlimited resources, crawl budget optimization is actually a practice carried out to reduce the crawl cost for search engines. The crawl budget is directly related to the technical condition of websites. With the right detections and moves, optimizing the crawl budget is quite easy. You can find answers to your questions such as what is a crawl budget and how it is calculated by examining the headings below.

How to Optimize Crawl Budget?

There are many aspects to consider when optimizing your crawl budget. Especially, the following items should be focused on during optimization:

  • URLs with 3xx, 4xx, and 5xx status codes accessible from within the site.
  • URLs with 3xx, 4xx, and 5xx status codes in the sitemap.
  • Index bloating caused by a large number of pages with insufficient content being indexed.
  • Using Robots.txt to disallow pages or directories with insufficient content and no added value. (For e-commerce sites, this includes search pages, basket, and membership pages, etc.)
  • Removing pages that do not contain original and valuable content from the Sitemap.
  • Addressing duplicate content issues and optimizing canonical tags. (For e-commerce sites, this includes page variations such as color or model for a product. In such cases, the canonical tags of these variations should point to the master, i.e., the main product.)
  • Keeping parameterized URLs under control and reviewing them at certain intervals. Especially in e-commerce sites, numerous errors may occur due to parameters.
  • Resolving route URL issues and establishing a single standard for URLs, directing variations that arise from uppercase writing or the addition of a “/” symbol to the determined standard.

As seen, there are many different factors to focus on when optimizing your crawl budget. If seeing your website being crawled too little by search engine bots is a problem for you, being crawled too much should also be a concern. If you notice sudden spikes or drops in your crawl statistics, you should definitely examine your website in light of these items.

What Determines the Crawl Budget?

Many different factors determine the crawl budget of websites. While some of these factors are directly related to technical issues, others are related to traffic and freshness. You can view the factors that determine the crawl budget by examining the headings below.

1 – Frequency of Updates and Sharing

If you frequently update the content on your website or regularly share new content, search engine bots will tend to crawl your website more regularly and more often.

2 – Traffic Values and Popularity

Search engine bots tend to crawl more popular content on the internet. That means if your pages, categories, or content have high traffic, search engine bots will crawl your website more often.

3 – Backlinks

One of the most important building blocks of SEO work, backlinks, when relevant sites link to your website, search engine bots will follow these links and crawl your website as well.

4 – Site Errors

The fundamental algorithms of search engine bots aim to minimize the time and cost spent on Crawl. That means if search engine bots frequently encounter status codes like 3xx, 4xx, and 5xx on a website, there will be a noticeable decrease in the Crawl Budget allocated to your site.

5 – Site Speed and Page Size

Very slow-loading and large-sized pages are not a standard for search engine bots. If a search engine bot enters your website to crawl a page and cannot load and view the content within a certain time, it will abandon the crawl.

How is the Crawl Budget Calculated?

By calculating the crawl budget, you can find out whether search engine bots can scan your website healthily and carry out the necessary optimizations accordingly.

Although search engine bots have a certain Crawl Budget for each site, remember that daily crawl rates can change minimally. If you encounter very sudden increases or decreases in crawls, you must technically check your website.

To calculate your crawl budget, you first need to log in to Google Search Console.

  • Enter the coverage tab under the index section and accept how many pages of your website are currently indexed. Pages listed under the “Valid” status in the coverage tab show all the pages of your website that have been indexed.
  • After viewing how many pages are indexed, proceed to the settings section and reach the crawl statistics page. Here, you can see how many times search engine bots have visited your website within a day.

After obtaining the total number of indexed pages and daily crawl statistics, you should perform a simple calculation.

For example, let’s assume that 1000 of our pages are indexed and search engine bots visit our website 300 times a day. If we divide the number of indexed pages by our daily crawl data, we get a result of 1000 / 3 = 3.3. If you reach an average number between 1 and 8 as a result of this operation, you generally do not need to worry about the crawl budget. However, if you reach an average number of 8 or higher, it means that search engine bots are not crawling your website enough, and it is an important sign that you need to start optimization work quickly.

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