How to Optimize Crawling for Better SEO Results
Crawling is an essential aspect of SEO that every website needs to focus on in order to gain visibility on Google and other search engines. In this article, we will discuss what crawling is and how you can optimize it to give your content the exposure it deserves.
What Is Crawling In SEO?
In the context of SEO, crawling refers to the process in which search engine bots, also known as web crawlers or spiders, systematically discover and access content on a website. This content can include text, images, videos, or other file types that are accessible to these bots. The primary way in which content is found is through links.
How Web Crawling Works
A web crawler works by discovering URLs and downloading the content of web pages. During this process, they may also pass the content to the search engine index and extract links to other web pages. These found links can fall into different categories:
- New URLs that are unknown to the search engine.
- Known URLs that give no guidance on crawling.
- Known URLs that have been updated and give clear guidance.
- Known URLs that have not been updated and give clear guidance.
- Inaccessible URLs that cannot or should not be followed.
- Disallowed URLs that search engine bots will not crawl.
All allowed URLs are added to a crawl queue, which is a list of pages to be visited in the future. However, different URLs are given different levels of priority based on various factors that determine their importance in the eyes of each search engine.
It’s important to note that different search engines have their own bots with specific algorithms, so they may crawl websites differently. For example, Googlebot behaves differently from Bingbot or Yahoo Slurp.
Why Crawling Is Important for Your Site
If a page on your website is not crawled, it will not be indexed and thus won’t be ranked in search results. However, the importance of crawling goes beyond just indexing your content. Here are a few reasons why crawling is critical:
- Speedy crawling is essential for time-limited content. If your content is not crawled and given visibility quickly, it becomes irrelevant to users.
- Even if time to market is not critical for your industry, speedy crawling is always beneficial. It allows you to quickly see the impact of any on-page SEO changes or identify and fix mistakes.
- Your organic visibility and SEO success depend on well-executed crawling. It’s the cornerstone of SEO and the foundation for ranking in search results.
Measuring Crawling: Crawl Budget Vs. Crawl Efficacy
Contrary to popular belief, Google does not aim to crawl and index all content on the internet. Crawling of a page is not guaranteed, and most websites have pages that have never been crawled by Googlebot. This is an issue that can impact your site’s visibility in search results.
When it comes to measuring crawling, there is a common misconception about what metrics matter. Many SEO professionals focus on crawl budget, which refers to the number of URLs that Googlebot can and wants to crawl within a specific time frame. However, the total number of crawls is just a vanity metric and doesn’t necessarily correlate with faster indexing or better SEO value.
Instead, the focus should be on crawl efficacy, which measures the time delay between publishing or updating an SEO-relevant page and the next visit by Googlebot. By quantifying this time delay, you can gauge the real impact of crawl optimizations and ensure that new or updated content is shown to your audience faster.
Search Engine Support for Crawling
Both Google and non-Google search engines have been working on improving crawling efficiency. To optimize crawling, two APIs have been introduced:
- IndexNow: Supported by Bing, Yandex, and Seznam, this API allows websites to push relevant URLs directly to search engines to trigger a crawl.
- Google Indexing API: Google’s API, which was initially limited to crawling pages with jobposting or broadcast event markup, has been tested and proven to increase crawling when non-compliant URLs are submitted.
It’s important to assess the value and impact of these APIs based on your target audience and the potential improvements in crawl efficacy. Integrating with these APIs may offer benefits, but you should carefully evaluate the costs and benefits for your specific needs.
If you want to optimize crawling and improve your website’s SEO results, consider seeking professional help. At SEO Augusta, we offer top-notch SEO services to help businesses improve their online visibility. Visit our website at https://seoaugusta.com to learn more about our services.