There is a long history of Google Algorithms updates, variations in search indexes and the similar. With every update Google introduces or changes one or the other things, this creates anxiety amongst content generators and web site owners. The reason being, these minor or major changes affect SEO of websites and web-pages alike. Organic traffic that is witnessed by a website is in majority controlled by these ranking algorithms. So it is very important for on-line marketers to keep track of such changes pushed by Google. Google Crawl rate is a very important factor that SEOs keep track of in order to determine the ranking of their site.
It is often understood by Webmasters and SEOs that increase in the crawl rate, they are witnessing, is often linked with an upcoming update. This seems logical but nothing can be said with certainty.
A Tweet from Google GARY ILLYES, a webmaster trends analyst, says that it is myth and not true what people believe about the relationship between increased crawl rate and updates in algorithms.
Google says the crawling rate is more (higher) for site moves, this also includes HTTPS migrations, but this phenomenon is just for indexing and nothing else. It does not indicate any changes in the algorithm. This means, if you believe, that increased Google crawl rate will bring algorithm updates, you certainly are on the wrong side of the bridge.
Google generally increases the crawl rate after the shift to doubly sure that older URL’s are matched with newer (often improved) ones.
What Crawling Actually Means
Google Crawling is a process carried out by Google-bots to index the webpages most relevant to keywords. Number of time Google spiders crawls a website/webpages directly affects the SEO of the site. A good and proper crawling rate derives traffic to your site without customers exclusively typing your site’s URL.
There are many different ways/ tricks people use to make Google crawl their site more often and index its pages for increased traffic.
Default Crawl rate for every site
As stated by Gary Illyes, every new site, big or small starts with the same default crawl rate. However, the Google Crawl rate may change over the period of time depending upon Crawl demand figured by indexing.
Google Crawl Budget
Gary llleyes has published a blog on Google Webmaster central blog that explains what crawl budget is and how crawl rate of a website affects work. The blog post also puts light on crawl demand and various factors that affect crawl budget of a site. He says crawl budget is not at all an issue for small site owners however, the ones having really big site with few thousand URL’s needs to keep an eye over crawl budget.
Increase in crawl budget for bigger site owners indicates that few pages that have not been indexed previously will be crawled and indexed now. This may increase the chances of appearing more often in search results, provided the pages are rich in keywords.
How Google Crawl rate limit is defined
Google bots are designed to crawl the webpages, while keeping in mind that it does not affect the user experience adversely. Crawl rate of any website is defined by various factors like:
- Crawl Health of a website: which means that if the site responses quickly; it is crawled to a larger extent. On the contrary if the site is slow or there is server errors it is will be crawled slowly.
- Set limit by site owners. Google allows site owners to set the crawl limit. Google has its own algorithm to Google Crawl rate the sites but, if you feel it is affecting your sites response time, you can set the limit for your site. Your set crawl rate will be the maximum number of times the bot will crawl your site.
- Also having large number of low-value URLs brings down the crawling rate and thereby indexing of the website, which results in causing delay in identifying valued content that adds significance to the site and its ranking.
- Site Speed is also a very significant factor that increases or decreases the crawl rate for the site. If the response time of a website is too high the Google bots will crawl it less likely. This for sure does not mean that you are stuck with low crawl rate. However, if you make necessary changes to reduce the response time, Google bots will definitely alter the crawling frequency for your sites.
Google Crawl rate
Understanding Crawl Demand
Popularity of the site and its staleness determines the Crawl demand for any site. Popularity here means how often users searches or visits your site. And Staleness refers to how old the content is in Google’s database referred to as index. Thus demand is also an important factor considered by Googlebots while Crawling. If there is no demand for indexing the site / webpage, the activity will be low from Google’s end.
What SEO should know about Crawling
While doing SEO one should keep in mind many more factors than the ones mentioned here. Crawl Priority, Crawl Schedules, Impact of internal links, Server error etc. have a great impact on how crawling will be performed.
How URL’s are identified to be Crawled
As discussed in this keynote discussion, Page-rank and Sitemaps define the URL’s that should be crawled.
Google also ignores certain pages while performing crawling and this is something very common place. However, if you think Google is not crawling important pages of your site, do investigate. Identifying the apt reason and making necessary corrections should be in your bucket list.
Hence increase in crawling rate is not an indicator of any kind of change in Google algorithm. But there are many other things it indicates too. Also, it is not important for all sites to keep a watch on crawl budget, but definitely for bigger sites.
The article must have made you understand what crawling is, what all factors it depends upon and how it affects your site.