Everyone knows – Google is the most used and the most popular search engine for billions of users all over the world. This is why you must have your website indexed by Google to increase its visibility in search results.
However, you might wonder how often Google crawls your site. It is important to understand Google’s crawl frequency as it can affect the SEO rankings of your website.
In this article we are going to pore over the factors that affect Google’s crawl rate and if it is possible to influence it. We will also consider the importance of a crawling strategy that has been properly crafted. Before getting into all of that, let us consider the basics of the crawl process.
How Does Google Crawl a Site?
Googlebot, Google's web crawler, is responsible for exploring web pages, reading their content, and indexing them in Google's vast database. It operates through an automated process, following links from one page to another.
The bot checks for updates and new content on websites and then indexes the information to provide searchers with the most relevant and current results. Googlebot uses a prioritization system when deciding which websites to crawl and how often to crawl them. High-quality, frequently updated sites tend to be crawled more often, while low-quality or seldom updated sites are not frequently crawled.
6 Factors that Affects How Often Google Crawls a Site
Many factors affect how much Googlebot will crawl your site. It is advisable to know these factors so that you can take the right steps to position your website in a manner that Google crawlers will visit always and improve its search rankings. They include –
1. New content
When you frequently upload content on your website, Googlebot always returns to check for more or new information. Websites with regularly updated content experience frequent crawling and they rank higher than websites that don’t get frequently crawled.
2. Website Authority
Because Google views authoritative sites as more valuable and reliable, websites with higher authority and backlinks from reputable sources are crawled more frequently than those that do not have credible authority.
3. XML Sitemaps
4. Server Performance
Always make sure that your server is always reliable and your website loads quickly to streamline the crawling process, because slow-loading websites or those with frequent downtime experience less frequent crawls.
5. Content Quality
High-quality, informative content attracts Google's attention. Websites with thin, low-value content may be crawled less often.
6. Crawl Budget
Google assigns a specific crawl budget to each website. The crawl budget dictates how often Googlebot visits your site and how many pages it crawls during each visit.
Is It Possible to Influence How Often Google Crawls a Site?
The short answer to that is yes. A more detailed answer to that is “You can take different actions to influence it and ensure your site is frequently crawled to improve your SEO rankings, even though you cannot completely control it”. Some of these actions include:
Regularly update your website with high-quality, relevant content. Google is more likely to return to your site if it offers fresh, valuable information.
Build a strong backlink profile by acquiring links from reputable sources. This enhances your site's authority, leading to more frequent crawls.
Submit an XML sitemap through Google Search Console to help Googlebot discover and index your pages efficiently.
Ensure your site is mobile-friendly. Google prioritizes mobile-first indexing, so mobile-friendly sites tend to be crawled more often.
Improve your website's loading speed by optimizing images, using efficient code, and employing a reliable hosting provider. Faster sites are favored by Googlebot.
Keep an eye on Google Search Console to gain insights into how Google views your site. You can request re-crawls for specific pages or submit changes to be indexed quickly.
If you remove or update content on your site, inform Google through the removal tool in Google Search Console to expedite the de-indexing of old content.
How to Build a Proper Crawl Strategy
To encourage frequent crawling by Google, it is important to have an effective crawl strategy. This involves giving attention to the following –
Create a clear and logical site structure. Ensure your most important pages are easily accessible, as these are the ones you want Google to crawl frequently.
Use a robust internal linking strategy. Link to your most valuable pages from other parts of your site to encourage Googlebot to crawl them.
Crawl Budget Allocation
Understand your site's crawl budget and allocate it strategically. Focus on the pages you want to rank highest in search results.
Periodically audit your site for broken links, duplicate content, and other issues that can hinder crawl efficiency. Address these problems promptly.
Robots.txt and Meta Robots Tags
Properly configure your robots.txt file and use meta robots tags to control which pages Googlebot can and cannot crawl.
Knowing how often Google checks out your site is crucial for good SEO and keeping your online presence strong. To make this work, you need a smart crawl plan and to keep an eye on things using Google Search Console.
You can't boss Google around, but you can make it more likely to rank you high by posting new, top-notch content, getting quality links, and fixing up your website. When you do all this, Google's little robot friend will drop by your site often, show your content to the world, and make users happy.
To learn more about Google crawling and Google Crawl List, check out our resource on Google Crawl List.