We all know it is worth investing time and resources into creating a well-structured and maintained website that is full of consistently produced meaningful content, carefully positioned keywords and high-quality links. However, did you know that all that time will be wasted if search engines are unable to successfully crawl your website, methodically indexing each page?
So, what is crawling anyway?
Search engine bots, web crawlers, or spiders will work their way around each page of your website indexing content into their search engine library. Think about it this way, if you walked into a bookshop looking for something specific but the shelves weren’t organised by genre and alphabetically, you’d never be able to find what you wanted. It’s the same for search engines. If your website can’t be crawled by bots, your content won’t be included in search engine results pages.
What is standing in the way of efficient crawling?
This Search Engine Land article explains in detail what a crawl budget is but essentially, all crawlers have a set budget, meaning that once it has indexed a certain number of pages it will stop. You must ensure your website is running as efficiently as possible to ensure that crawlers are not using their budget on pages that won’t help your business and failing to index your website’s most important and fully optimised pages.
An excessive number of pages with thin content will quickly and unnecessarily drain your crawl budget. Where possible, rewriting and expanding upon the content on these pages is advisable and employing the services of a comprehensively skilled team with years of experience building websites, such as a Web Design Yorkshire company, can help you to further evaluate your website content to ensure it’s working as well as it can to boost your website further up search results for key terms. Sometimes pages with thin content are necessary and in these cases, simply noindex and nofollow them so bots know not to crawl them.
Errors and page loading times
Error 404 and 500 happen but it becomes a key issue when your website is throwing up an excessive amount of them, as crawling may lead to your website crashing completely. It’s also important to keep an eye on page load times, as if your website keeps timing out, it’s not going to be crawled successfully.