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  • Marc Primo Warren

Optimizing Your Crawl Efficiency

This is an article ‘Optimizing Your Crawl Efficiency’ by Marc Primo

Ensuring that Google's search engine bots can easily crawl and index your website is crucial for a successful search engine optimization (SEO) campaign. However, many sites must catch up on a significant portion of their pages due to poor crawl efficiency. Optimizing a website's crawl efficiency is a critical factor that must be addressed when it comes to SEO. In simple terms, the faster and more efficient bots can crawl your site, the better your chances of ranking in Google's search engine results pages (SERPs).

Unfortunately, not all websites are created equal in terms of crawl efficiency. Many still need to catch up on significant portions of their pages, mainly because Google algorithms don't have the resources to crawl every page it discovers. Instead, it prioritizes URLs based on their importance, relevance, and other factors, which leads us to other vital elements of your SEO campaign.

For this article, we'll first focus on optimizing your site's crawl efficiency and making Google recognize your URLs as the helpful resources that they are.

Increasing crawl efficiency for your website

If you want your content to be more visible for Google and, more importantly, its users, then you first need to make sure that Googlebot can easily crawl your pages. One thing you have to remember is that the benefits of optimizing your crawl efficiency go beyond simply getting your content indexed.

For instance, if you have a new piece of content that's time-sensitive or covers a hot topic, then chances are higher for Google to crawl it faster, as well as the sooner it can appear on the results page. This practice is especially critical if you're trying to be a 'first to market' brand or simply want to take advantage of a current trend.

Another way you can increase crawl efficiency is by offering evergreen content. Ensuring you frequently update what you offer on your websites will optimize your crawl efficiency and help ensure those updates are reflected in your search rankings as soon as possible. This is key for both content republishing strategies and technical SEO tactics.

Now, this doesn't mean that crawl optimization only matters for websites with larger budgets to keep their content evergreen or increase the number of crawlable URLs, thanks to the efforts of paid staff. That's not the case at all. Every website can benefit from optimizing its crawl efficiency, regardless of size or update frequency.

Unfortunately, there's a misconception that crawl optimization is only about things like crawl budget or having specific exclusions in the Google Search Console. But those measurements don't exactly tell the whole story. We'll discuss that in more detail later. The bottom line is that once crawl efficiency is optimized, your content improves online visibility to more people and can gain higher rankings on Google.

Make your crawl efficacy an SEO KPI

One important factor in optimizing your website for search engines is how quickly it can crawl and index your pages. This is called crawl efficacy, which measures the time delay between when an SEO-relevant page is created or updated and when Googlebot next crawls it.

To maximize your crawl efficacy, focus on reducing the time delay between the time you publish or update evergreen content for your pages, and the next Googlebot crawl is scheduled. Performing this as a best practice ensures that your content is quickly indexed and made available to your audience on Google.

One way to measure crawl efficacy is by calculating the time variance between the database's create or update schedules and the subsequent search engine crawl of that particular URL based on the server log files. However, suppose this data is not easily accessible. In that case, you can use the XML sitemap lastmod date or the Google Search Console URL Inspection API to check each crawl status and datetime.

You can also monitor when the indexing transition occurs using the URL Inspection API in order to determine the indexing efficacy of newly formed URLs. This gauges how long it takes for an article to be successfully indexed once it is published, which is essential for ensuring your audience can access your content.

It's crucial to remember that crawling without altering the indexing situation or updating website content can waste time. Only then will crawl effectiveness become a helpful statistic that can help you share important SEO content with your target market across search engines.

You can also trace URL patterns to identify any problems you might have observed, especially when Googlebot is taking an unreasonable amount of time to crawl and index your pages. By doing this, you may learn how quickly different parts of your site's content are being indexed and whether this affects the quality of your organic performance.

Prioritize crawl efficiency over budget

In order to maximize your website's SEO, it's crucial to focus more on achieving crawl efficacy than your crawl budget. After all, the goal of crawling should not be to have every page of your website crawled repeatedly or to achieve the highest amount of crawling, but rather to ensure that SEO-relevant content is crawled as close as possible to the time it's created or updated.

While many see crawl budgets as essential factors, it's also worth noting that what really counts is the investment you put into optimizing your website's crawl efficiency. By prioritizing crawl efficacy, you can ensure that search engines can quickly and efficiently crawl your website's most important content that can significantly impact your website's search engine rankings, which are the main objectives of every SEO campaign.

To further optimize your website's crawl efficiency, focus on creating high-quality, SEO-relevant content and ensure that your website's structure and technical elements are optimized for search engine crawlers.

By investing in these critical areas, you can help ensure that you'll give Google good reasons to crawl and index your website's content as efficiently and effectively as possible, helping to improve your website's overall search engine visibility and traffic.

Learn more about SEO best practices by getting more helpful resources at

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