Crawl budget refers to the number of pages a search engine bot (like Googlebot) can and wants to crawl on a website within a given timeframe. It is determined by factors such as the website’s size, structure, health, and the search engine’s crawling capacity and interest in the site.

Some key points about crawl budget:

  • It is not a fixed number and can vary based on the website’s characteristics and the search engine’s algorithms.
  • Having a large crawl budget does not guarantee better rankings; it merely ensures that more pages can be discovered and indexed by search engines.
  • Crawl budget is often misunderstood as a ranking factor, but it is not directly related to search rankings.
  • Websites with poor technical health, such as slow load times, server errors, or excessive redirects, may have their crawl budget reduced by search engines.
  • Low-quality or duplicate content can waste crawl budget by causing search engine bots to spend time on less important pages.

Site owners can optimize their website’s crawl budget by:

  • Ensuring good website health and performance, including fast load times and minimal server errors.
  • Creating a clear and efficient site structure with a logical hierarchy and internal linking.
  • Using robots.txt and XML sitemaps to guide search engine bots to important pages and avoid crawling unnecessary ones.
  • Minimizing duplicate content, low-quality pages, and broken links that can waste crawl budget.
  • Regularly monitoring and addressing technical SEO issues that may impact crawlability and indexing.

By optimizing crawl budget, site owners can help search engines efficiently discover and index their most important content, potentially leading to better visibility in search results.

How Important is Crawl Budget?

However, crawl budget is often misunderstood. As we wrote in Sitemap Best Practices: “Crawl budget is a somewhat opaque subject that generates speculation. Google’s John Mueller has said that even with 100k URLs a site would not need to be concerned about crawl budget.”

So what if you have well over 100k URLs?