How to Speed Up Google’s Crawl

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Speed Up Google’s Crawl

Did you know that for ranking websites, a search engine like Google uses crawlers to get the contents of your site and plenty others into its index? That means the bigger your website gets, the longer it takes to crawl. Any decent website publisher with their eye on the top result rank has the onus to make sure this happens smoothly and efficiently. You need not give this much thought if your website has under 1,000 pages, but if it has more, then it is best to cultivate some smart habits early on, including a few uses in some of the finest SEO packages India has to offer.

How Google Crawls a Site

Google finds a link that leads to your website. This sets the beginning of a virtual pile, followed by a pretty simple process.

  • Googlebot focuses on one page on that pile.
  • This page gets crawled, and the crawler indexes the content for Google’s use.
  • All links on this page get added to the pile.

While crawling, Googlebot could get redirected, in which case, the new URL gets added to the pile as well. Overall, you need to ensure that Googlebot is able to reach all your pages. The secondary objective is to set it up so this happens quickly; at any rate, the best SEO packages focus on speeding up such things. To that end, it is vital to maintain the website well.

Crawl Depth

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Google Algorithm Update

When it comes to crawling, you need to understand and appreciate the concept of crawl depth in order to make the most out of your website’s publishing. Imagine for instance that you have a link on one page of your website, which connects to another page on it, that to another, and so on. Googlebot would scan a lot of these through the layered setup, but then leave off when it decided adequate crawling had been done. How soon that decision gets made, depends on the importance of that first page-to-page link it encounters. That means you would need to do the following.

  • Set up categories, tags, and similar taxonomies to make segmentation more granular. That does not mean you should get carried away either. A tag, for instance, is not very useful when you apply it to just one piece of content. Additionally, you need to make sure the category archives are optimized.
  • Set links deeper pages that carry numbers, making it easier for Googlebot to get to them. Suppose page 1 holds links to page 1 through 10 on it, and so on. That means if Googlebot wanted to get to page 100 from the home page, it would need to follow just 11 clicks. Such a setup brings the farthest (or deepest) pages much closer.
  • Make sure your site runs fast. The slower it gets, the longer Googlebot takes to crawl it each time.

Eliminating Factors That Bring on Bad Crawl Efficiency

  • Excessive 404s and similar errors: Google will most definitely find errors when it crawls your website, but each time, it simply picks the next page out of the current pile. If it finds heaps of errors, it slows down to make sure rapid crawling is not the reason for them being there. At any rate, your site gets indexed much more slowly unless you remove the errors yourself. Check Webmaster Tools for a full list, roll up your sleeves, and get to work.
  • Too many 301 redirects: So you carry out a full domain migration, and afterwards, run a full crawl to check what needs fixing. You immediately spot a huge problem: lots of URLs have no trailing slash at the end, which means they all get 301 redirects. This would not be much of a problem if it were just 5 or 10 URLs, but in the above instance, for every 500 URLs you needed Googlebot to crawl, it would actually need to visit 1,000 pages. On your side, it is imperative to update the links so that your crawl does not slow down considerably.
  • Spider traps: There is a lot to be said for owning a website to which Google credits some authority. For example, it would be willing to crawl a link that at first glance failed to make any sense whatsoever. Google gets its “infinite spiral staircase”, and it just keeps going, world without end. Some sites, for example have daily archives that make it easier to organize the massive amounts of content they publish. A visitor could choose a different day or month, and keep doing that at each page. Google would follow this path for an authorized site, but that could end up making crawls significantly deep (say 200,000 clicks for instance). This is called a “spider trap”, and yes, it drops the efficiency of search engine crawls. Fixing this is a superb way to ensure better ranking where organic search is concerned.