Crawl Budget: What is It and How Does it Affect for SEO?

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Websites must be crawled and indexed to be displayed on search engine results pages (SERP). Meanwhile, the position or ranking of the website on the search results page is determined by the search engine algorithm. Crawling and indexing websites is the job of search engine crawlers which are also called web crawlersweb crawlers, spiders, or bots.

The process of crawling a website starts with the search engine crawler finding a website on the internet, crawling the page, following the links found, analyzing the content, and then indexing what has been crawled. When, how often, and how many URLs or website pages are crawled depends on the crawl budget.

What is a Crawl Budget?

What is a Crawl Budget?
What is a Crawl Budget?

Crawl budget is the number of URLs or web pages that a search engine crawler such as Googlebot crawls within a certain time period. The crawl budget for each website can be different, influenced by many things, for example server resources on shared hosting or dedicated hosting, website popularity, and the size of the website.

Crawl budget is one of the important things that website owners often forget. In fact, if someone ignores the crawl budget, their website cannot be optimized optimally.

In fact, all the strategies that have been carried out by the optimizer will be in vain, because if there are web pages that are not indexed, this will have an impact on the SERP ranking. Until finally the SERP ranking will decrease further.

In fact, the crawl budget is the URL absorption budget that Googlebot can and wants to crawl. In detail, crawl budget is the number of pages indexed and crawled by Googlebot on a website within a certain time period.

Simply put, if you manage a website with 100 pages, those pages will be crawled and indexed by Google. Basically, crawl budget is a formula of 2 things, namely:

1. Crawl Demand

This formula is a request for the number of indexings and is influenced by the popularity of the site. Of course, the more popular a site is, the more it will be crawled.

2. Crawl Rate Limit

Meanwhile, the crawl rate limit is the maximum amount of data accessed on a website. So, the site will not be slow because the number of visitors is too large.

Why is Crawl Budget Important for SEO?

Crawl budget is one of the important things for SEO. This is because SEO itself is a process of getting a site indexed and getting the best page ranking on SERP.

The way search engines work consists of 3 stages, namely crawling, then indexing and finally serving. So the first step that search engines will take is crawling.

If there is no crawling process, there is no indexing, and ultimately your site will not rank in search engines. When a site does not appear in search engines like Google, this shows that the site will not get traffic.

In fact, as we know, traffic is an indicator of \the success of SEO. So, crawl budget is very important in the SEO process. Especially if the site is a large scale site, publishes content regularly every day and has too many redirects. Crawl budget is a mandatory thing that must be done.

What is the crawl limit?

To crawl web pages, search engine crawlers have limited resources. Search engine crawlers have to share their attention with the millions of existing websites. Therefore, search engine crawlers need to prioritize crawl efforts by determining the crawl budget.

Crawl budget is also limited to ensure that the hosting server is not overloaded due to many concurrent connections or traffic spikes. This will have an impact on hosting server resource usage. The use of large server resources can make web pages load slowly which ultimately affects the user experience (UX) of website visitors.

Most websites are on shared hosting and share hosting servers. Generally, the performance or response speed of websites on shared hosting is also lower than websites on dedicated hosting. This will affect the level of the crawl budget. Websites on shared hosting generally have a lower crawl budget.

How is crawl budget determined?

Determining the crawl budget on a website is influenced by two important factors, namely crawl rate and crawl demand.

1. Crawl rate

Crawl rate is how many URLs or web pages a search engine crawler will try to crawl. From here, the crawl rate limit will be achieved, namely the maximum number of crawls that can be achieved by the search engine crawler without reducing website performance such as slowdown due to problems with hosting server stability.

2. Crawl demand

Crawl speed can vary from one URL or web page to another URL or web page based on demand for a particular URL or web page. A visitor's requests or access to previously indexed web pages can influence how often search engine crawlers crawl those web pages.

Web pages that are more popular are likely to be crawled more often by search engine crawlers when compared to pages that are less popular or pages that are rarely visited. Likewise, new web pages will usually receive more priority compared to old pages that are rarely changed.

How does crawl budget affect SEO?

How does crawl budget affect SEO?

Crawl budget determines how often crawling is done and how many URLs or web pages are crawled. The larger the crawl budget for a website, the more often and more URLs or web pages will be crawled. New URLs or web pages, updated web pages, and web pages that have not yet been indexed will be indexed faster and more widely. This automatically has an effect on increasing SEO performance.

Web pages that have been indexed will be displayed on search engine results pages and have the opportunity to be clicked on by visitors. The more traffic or visitor traffic to the website, the greater the conversions such as ad clicks, form filling, or product sales.

What factors affect a website's crawl budget?

To make your crawl budget more efficient, you must pay attention to a number of things, such as:

1. Faceted Navigation

When shopping online, you will often see the navigation menu on the left. In this menu there are options or filters that can be selected to speed up searches. This filter has the name faceted navigation. Actually, faceted navigation is great for providing a good search experience for users. Unfortunately, faceted navigation is not friendly to crawler bots.

This is because faceted navigation can produce a lot of URL combinations and duplicate content. This combination and duplicate content can make the crawl budget less efficient and more wasteful.

2. Infinity Spaces

The meaning of infinity spaces is space that has no boundaries. Infinity spaces are a large number of links, but there is no new content in them for Googlebot to index.

If this happens on your website, the URL ingestion process will take up large and unnecessary bandwidth, making Googlebot unable to successfully index important content on the site. Ultimately, this crawling process becomes less efficient and less effective.

3. Site Affected by Hack

If the site is managed well, the crawl budget can be wasted, especially with sites that are hacked. The site could become more broken and not comply with Google's guidelines.

This hacked site will allow other people to access files from the website even if they don't have permission from the owner. To avoid being easily hacked, increase site security and don't forget to do weekly backups.

4. Soft Error Pages occurred

Here, what is meant by soft error pages is soft 404. This is what happens when the website server responds with an HTTP 200 code for a blank page. This soft error will limit the scope of crawling in search engines. Compared to leaving it as is, it is better to use a 404 not found code, so that search engines know that this URL does not exist.

Indeed, websites are unlimited, but the time these crawler bots have is very limited. Therefore, improve the status thoroughly.

5. Content Has Low Quality

Not a few SEO practitioners say that low quality content is content that has little text in the body tag. However, this is not always the case because there are topics with little text content and are not very long.

The length of the text depends on the visitor's intent and the type of query they have. So, long text content does not guarantee that the content is quality, but how the content will answer what website visitors are looking for.

6. Duplicate Content

Duplicate content or duplicate content on a website is something that must be avoided. Either a large part or a small part of the entire content. Google also suggests paying attention to this.

If ignored, this can have negative impacts such as reducing the popularity of the URL, missing important pages in the crawl, and displaying unwanted pages in the SERP.

How do I Optimizing my Crawl Budget?

The crawl budget or crawl budget of each website is different and has limits. Optimizing the crawl budget aims to ensure that the crawl budget is not wasted. There are many efforts that can be made to optimize the crawl budget.

1. Speed up web page loading

Page load speed (page speed) affects the crawling process. Web pages that load quickly are not only liked by visitors because they improve user experience (UX), they also influence the crawling process more optimally. The faster a web page loads, the faster the crawling process will be by search engine crawlers and the more URLs or web pages will be crawled.

2. Adding more links

The number of links on a web page can be an indicator of how important the web page is. Search engine crawlers like Googlebot give priority to web pages with more internal and external links. By adding more links you can increase your crawl budget. External links can be hard to get, but you can start with the easier option of internal links.

3. Fix broken links

Broken links or broken links, both internal links and external links, will only waste unnecessary crawl budget. Search engine crawlers will crawl through dead ends because the web page is not found. Fixing broken links can recover wasted crawl budget and promote a better user experience.

4. Avoid long redirect chains

Long chains of redirects make search engine crawlers take longer to crawl. Search engine crawlers may only follow a maximum of five redirect chains. It is recommended that you avoid chain redirects or minimize the use of redirects. Chain redirects also cause longer web page load times and decreased user experience.

5. Using Disallow in robots.txt

Robots.txt is a text file containing instructions for search engine crawlers. Through robots.txt, you can give instructions to search engine crawlers using the Robots Exclusion Protocol. Prohibiting (disallowing) directories and pages that search engine crawlers cannot crawl is a good way to optimize your crawl budget so that it is not wasted.

6. Using noindex in meta robots

The disallow instruction sometimes does not guarantee that the web page will not be crawled by search engine crawlers. Search engine crawlers can use other methods such as internal links to crawl web pages that would ideally be omitted or not indexed. To prevent search engine crawlers from indexing the page, a meta tag with noindex must be placed on the page.

7. Avoid wrong URLs in the sitemap

A sitemap is a page that contains all the link information on a website. All links in the sitemap are to indexable pages. Search engine crawlers rely on sitemaps, especially for large websites, to use crawl budgets efficiently. If the sitemap has a lot of links to pages that don't exist, crawl budget will be wasted. Therefore, you need to check it periodically.

8. Address content duplication

Almost all websites face duplicate content. Duplication of content can occur, for example changing URLs that have been indexed carelessly, moving articles to another directory without doing a 301 redirect, or errors in feature settings in the CMS (Content Management System). Duplicating content causes an inefficient crawling process and wastes a lot of crawl budget.


Duplicate content must be corrected to ensure search engine crawlers crawl the right URLs. You can add the rel=canonical attribute to the official URL that must be crawled by search engine crawlers. 

If the website is created with a CMS, you can use extensions (modules or plugins) to make it easier to handle duplicate content that occurs. In short, understanding and managing your website's crawl budget is critical to a successful SEO campaign. 

While many factors contribute to SEO success, a good crawl budget helps ensure that all important content on your site is indexed by search engines so people can find it through relevant searches. With proper management of the speed and number of web pages crawled, you can maximize your business visibility online and achieve greater success with SEO campaigns!

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