What is web crawling?
Web crawling is the process by which search engine bots, also known as crawlers, interact with and understand the content of a webpage. This is done so that the content can be retrieved and displayed to users when they search for relevant information. Crawling is a primary stage of SEO, followed by indexing. In order to get your content and website visible to your target audience, it’s crucial to first gain the attention of crawlers.
Although the crawling process happens automatically, there are still a few pages that go unnoticed, even though they meet the quality metrics of SEO. In such cases, having knowledge of crawl rate and the process of limiting crawl rate can help you better optimize your blog. So, let’s get crawling!
What is Crawl rate?
Crawl rate in simple words is the number of request bot makes to your website per second. There is no standard process to know how many times and how often a bot can crawl your blog. However, you can request the bots to consider a page url for crawling by conducting URL Inspection on Search console.
Below are a few things that impact crawlability of a blog:
1.Bandwidth of hosting server:
Capacity of the server your website is hosted is crucial as that impacts the speed of the google crawls.Server loading issues is also one the issue caused by bots as they create multiple fetching requests to the blog.
2.Size of the Website:
Websites with multiple thousands of pages often have issue in getting their new pages or content get noticed by the bots.
3. Quality of the content.
Duplicate content on website and demand or requirement for a particular topic also impacts the crawlling. If the bot finds the content is stale and not require, high chances it might not crawl the page even after being identified. Duplicate and low quality content will also increase the spam score of a website along with an impact on crawlability.
4.Migrations and redirections:
too many redirections or website migration will also impact the crawl rate. It can be either ways.
How to limit the crawl rate
We cannot increase or exactly control the number of time a bot crawl your website, but one can definetely reduce the crawl limit through serach console tool. By doing so webmasters can prioritise new and update pages to get noticed by crawlers.
How to limit the crawl rate on search console:
To limit the crawl rate on Search Console, you can follow these steps:
1.Go to the Settings menu and select Site Settings.
2.Under Crawl Rate, you can check the crawl report and adjust the crawl limit as needed.
3.If you don’t see the option directly under settings, you may need to create an URL-Prefix property on Search Console. Once you’ve done this, you should be able to find the crawl limiting option.
If you don’t take these steps, you may end up in a loop of activities and be redirected back to the console home page.
Another way is by identifying the bot and blocking it through robot.txt.This method is effective to avoid 503 and 429 crawl responses which are basically server loading issues.
However, this solution may take up to 24 hours to work. Once you’ve identified and resolved the problem, you should remove the block. It’s important not to block a bot for too long, as this can negatively impact your website traffic.
Does Crawl rate impact rankings?
Crawlling of a page or url is definetely important to get your content visible to your audience, that way it might impact the seo metrics and rankings. Else Crawling is not a direct seo ranking signal.
As an SEO professional, it’s important to learn about bots and bot management. This can help the new changes and pages get identified, and also control the accessibility of a bot to a page. Crawling is good and adds value to your website visibility and traffic, but too many requests on a website by bots could crash the server, disturbing the user interaction and experience. If you have no server loading issues on your website, it is not recommended to alter the crawl rate of your blog. it’s always better to take expert help if you have very little knowledge on web bots and the crawl rate limiting process.