A website’s crawl budget is the number of pages that Googlebot can crawl per day or per week. The crawl budget report in Google Search Console provides invaluable insights into how much of your site’s crawl budget is being used, how efficiently Google is crawling your site, and any issues that may be blocking pages from being indexed.
This ultimate guide will explain what crawl budget is, what the crawl budget report shows, how to access and utilize the report for better SEO, common issues that may arise, and troubleshooting steps you can take to optimize your site’s crawl budget.
By regularly checking and acting on the crawl budget report, you can better align your site’s architecture with Google’s crawling capacity, unlock more indexing potential, and boost your SEO results.
The crawl budget report contains a wealth of data to help you diagnose problems and identify opportunities for improving crawling and indexing. Here are some of the key things the report will display:
One of the most useful elements of the crawl budget report is seeing which URLs Googlebot has recently crawled and which it has not. Within a date range you specify, you can filter to two tabs:
Reviewing the Not Crawled tab is an opportunity to discover areas where Googlebot can’t crawl or index your pages. Some common reasons pages may not get crawled include:
By scrutinizing the not crawled pages and investigating further via other Search Console reports, you can identify and fix problems blocking Googlebot from crawling these URLs. This will allow more of your site to be crawled and indexed.
In addition to individual URLs, the crawl budget report also provides overview stats on how Googlebot is crawling your site. Key crawl stats include:
Monitoring the crawl stats over time is useful for detecting patterns and anomalies. For example, if your crawl rate suddenly jumps up but your index count doesn’t increase proportionately, that indicates a potential issue with page processing. Analyzing these metrics helps assess site performance and uncover areas for optimization.
The crawl budget report lists any crawling errors Google encountered on your site, such as 404 or 500 status codes. Other errors like DNS resolution failures, SSL issues, and timeouts may also appear.
Reviewing crawl errors should be a regular part of your SEO diagnostics. Even a small number of errors can hinder pages from being indexed. Eliminating crawl errors ensures Googlebot can access more of your site.
Page authority (PA) is a Search Console metric that estimates the relative “link power” of a page based on links pointing to it. The crawl report displays a breakdown of what percentage of your crawled pages are in low, medium and high PA ranges:
Seeing a high proportion of low PA pages may indicate you have thin content that lacks authority signals. This content may not be worth crawling. Cleaning up or consolidating thin pages allows more crawl budget for better quality content.
An important supplement to your own site’s crawl data is info on external sites linking to you. The crawl report shows:
Since links are a major ranking factor, monitoring this data can help you assess the success of your link-building efforts. Increases in unique domains and URLs linking to your site are positive signs of growing authority.
Now that you know what data the crawl budget report contains, let’s look at how to find and utilize it:
The crawl budget report is located in Google Search Console. Follow these steps:
The report will then display tabs for Crawled, Not Crawled, Errors, and Crawl Stats according to the parameters chosen.
Once you’ve run the report for your site, closely analyze each metric:
Comparing crawl data to other Search Console reports can help spot issues. For example, if crawl rate increases but impressions drop, there could be a problem with page processing.
Use what you learn from analyzing the crawl report to take optimization actions like:
Regularly checking in on the report and taking action on the data is key for long-term SEO growth.
Here are some best practices for incorporating crawl budget reports into your regular SEO methodology:
Leveraging crawl budget reports takes some hands-on practice. But making it a SEO habit will lead to significant search visibility gains.
Despite best efforts, it’s common for websites to encounter frustrating problems with Googlebot crawling and processing their pages. Here are some typical crawl budget issues and troubleshooting tips:
If your indexed page count suddenly falls off, it likely means Google has struggled to access important parts of your site. Potential causes include:
Thoroughly audit your new site for errors. Re-upload sitemaps. Check robot.txt. Beef up internal linking. Request a manual index of impacted URLs.
Seeing your pages per day crawl count shoot up can indicate a problem if indexing does not increase proportionately. Likely reasons include:
Look for failed processing diagnoses in Search Console. Eliminate duplicate content. Speed up page load times. Consolidate or purge thin content.
If crawl errors are creeping up over time, that prevents Googlebot from accessing more pages. Typical causes:
Perform a deep error audit. Improve uptime and speed. Enhance site architecture and internal linking. Identify fixes for critical 404s and 500s.
Lots of low PA thin pages on your site can dilute crawl budget. Contributing factors:
Consolidate and update thin pages. Disavow low-quality links. Curate content with relevant info. Focus on authoritative pages.
If your site is large, Google may not allocate enough crawl budget. Clues include:
Request a crawl increase. Make sure XML sitemaps cover key pages. Consolidate or remove less important pages.
Preventing issues is ideal, but when crawl problems arise, use these troubleshooting techniques to get Googlebot back on track. Patience and persistence pays off.
Understanding and optimizing your website’s crawl budget is a pivotal yet often neglected part of SEO. By tapping into the invaluable data within Google’s crawl budget report, you gain unique insights into Googlebot’s behavior and limitations when accessing your site.
You can pinpoint technical problems inhibiting crawling, assess the quality of indexed pages, analyze valuable link metrics, spot trends and patterns in site exploration, and inform content and architecture strategies.
Making efficient use of crawl budget ensures Google can adequately index and rank your best, most authoritative pages. With the tips in this guide, you now have the knowledge to access your site’s crawl report, diagnose issues, interpret the data, and take action to enhance crawling and indexing.
Integrating regular crawl budget analysis into your SEO methodology will sharpen your technical auditing skills and unlock the full search visibility potential of your website.
The crawl budget report reveals both crawl stats and crawl opportunities. Leverage the data within it to help Google succeed at showing searchers more of your great content.
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