What Is SEO Crawl Budget?

Crawl budget is a term that was coined by Google’s Matt Cutts, and it refers to the number of resources that your site’s server can handle at any given time before running into problems.

It’s measured in requests per second, so if you have a crawl budget of 200 requests per second, then your server will begin to have trouble when it reaches its peak traffic of 200 requests per second.

The best way to maintain your crawl budget over time is to regularly update your site to avoid outdated content and keep your pages’ loading times quick and efficient.

The crawl budget is the capacity an algorithm has to crawl and index pages on your website.


The size of your crawl budget depends on many factors, including how often you update your website, the number of new web pages added each month, and how big your website’s archive of published content is. 

So it’s important to know that the larger your crawl budget, the longer it will take Googlebot to visit all of your new content pages regularly.

Google’s newfangled algorithm that ranks sites by their authority, or E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness), places a lot of emphasis on freshness of content. 

Even if you have the best content in the world, if it isn’t being updated frequently, Google’s going to look at it as less authoritative than a site with more recent content—and rank your site accordingly. So how do you keep your content fresh? By monitoring your crawl budget.

What is an SEO crawl budget?

Search engine crawlers are important for keeping your website up to date. They identify new pages, index them in search engines and notify other bots if something has changed. 

A crawl budget is a limit on how much time it takes for these bots to crawl all of your website’s pages. You should monitor how your bots are performing so you can optimize your process. 

Here are some best practices for maintaining a good crawl budget:

1. Minimize The Number Of Http-Errors Your Site Returns 

2. Optimize Your Website Code And Content 

3. Use Canonical Tags On Internal Pages To Aid Bots 

4. Eliminate Redirect Loops 

5. Remove Irrelevant Subdomains 

6. Create One Shared Hosting Account For All Sites 

7. Document Your Site Architecture 

8. Reduce File Size 

9. Make Sure Keywords Show Up In 

10. Make Sure Important Content Comes First 

11. Test If Your Website is Responsive 

12. Avoid Duplicate Titles 

13. Add Descriptions 

14. Use Rich Snippets 

15. Use Schema Markup 

16. Index Static Files 

17. Keep Page Load Times Short 

18. Use Sitemaps 

19. Check Crawler Status 

20. Keep Robots.txt Current 

21. Incorporate Social Signals 

22. Monitor How Much Time Each Crawl Takes 

23. Use Paged Resources 

24. Add Service Workers 

25. Replace JavaScript With jQuery 

26. Remove Render Blocking Stylesheets 

27. Split Your CSS Into Separate Files 

28. Switch From PHP To Python 

29. Make Links Internal Links 

30. Write Compelling Headlines 

31. Optimize Images 

32. Add An Analytics Tag 

33. Switch From HTTP To HTTPS 

34. Proactively Handle 404 Errors 

35. Update External Links 

36. Use Wayback Machine 

37. Maintain Archive Pages 

38. Maintain Rel=canonical 

39. Maintain 301 Redirects 

40. Fetch As Googlebot 

41. Consolidate Outbound Links 

42. Use Real URLs 

43. Try Using Fresh Index 

44. Speed Up Page Rendering 

45. Set Javascript At Top 

46. Cache Components 

47. Make Sure Cookie Expiration Dates Are Realistic 

48. Track Your Crawl Stats 

49. Use Beacons 

50. Implement Structured Data 

51. Use Hreflangs

52. Add Additional Language Versions 

53. Don't Forget To Make Your Homepage Mobile Friendly 

54. Utilize Contextual Links 

55. Ensure alt Attributes Are Unique 

56. Maintain Breadcrumbs 

57. Correctly Order Semantic Elements 

58. Avoid Empty Title Attributes

59. Have Multiple Portions Of Semantic Text 

60. Make Sure Your Semantic Text Is Unique 

61. Make Sure Link Anchor Text Is Relevant

62. Stay Away From Doorway Pages 

63. Stay Away From Pure Dead Ends

64. Use User-Agent Fallbacks 

65. Use Redirects Carefully 

66. Use Path Parameters 

67. Make Sure Your Site Has Good Usability 

68. Learn About Crawl Budgeting 

69. Learn About Crawl Frequency 

70. Avoid Flash 

71. Maintain A Clean URL Structure 

72. Maintain Your Site's Performance 

73. Make Sure Your Site Is Accessible 

74. Keep Critical Content Above The Fold 

75. Monitor Server Response Time 

76. Use A CDN 

77. Make Sure To Use A Standalone Web Font 

78. Make Sure To Use Html5 Over Xhtml 

79. Keep Your Scripts Synced 

80. Add A Meta Robots Tag

Why does it matter in SEO?

In SEO, the crawl budget refers to how much of your website Google can crawl in a given period. In general, Google is smart enough to understand when it's being overwhelmed with content and won't request more pages. 

However, there are some instances when it makes sense for a website owner to tell Google that they don't have a certain amount of content in a page or section. 

For example, if you have an About Us page on your website that has 10 employees' bios on it, you might want to tell Google not to try and crawl through all 10 bios at once. Instead, tell them they can only look at one bio at a time until they've fully read all 10 pages. 

When doing so, be sure to indicate which sections or files aren't important (like admin areas) so Google doesn't waste its valuable time trying to crawl those areas. Simply indicating don't index is too vague; you need to give it specific instructions like index these three pages but skip over these two. 

Best practices include specifying how frequently you'd like Google to recrawl (once per day?), whether your rules should apply site-wide or just individual pages/directories, etc. It should go without saying that crawling too often may cause problems for user experience, so careful consideration needs to be made before using any type of crawl rule. 

As always, check with your technical teams first for specifics on setting up rules because there are several parameters involved. You'll likely find yourself coming back and editing crawl rules multiple times—don't stress! It's inevitable. 

Just make sure to communicate effectively with your colleagues so everyone knows what each crawler account looks like as far as performance is concerned. 

Then discuss ways to measure success with metrics about each different crawler account over time.

After analyzing data, revisit each crawler account’s settings for tweaking as needed. Both humans and machines work better together than alone, so keep in mind that Google itself is making use of crawl rules on your behalf! 

To prevent resource constraints from hindering performance (and potentially blocking search engines entirely), crawl limits and limits on what gets indexed were implemented by developers. 

Nowadays, publishers typically use exclusionary tactics instead—getting around page depth limitations by adding parameter URL strings such as &depth=2 or & maxdepth=3 to prevent bots from accessing everything at once.

How do you measure your website's crawl budget?

SEO professionals often talk about crawl budget, but just what is it and why should you care? 

The crawl budget refers to how much content Google's crawlers can download and index from your website in a certain period. 

Each day, Google sets aside a certain amount of its crawl budget for all of its properties, which include its search engine and all of its other products like Gmail or Docs. This means that if your website gets pushed off Google because it's taking up too much crawl space, then there goes your traffic. 

To maintain the crawl budget, you have to prevent spammy links from being crawled by including rel=nofollow tags on links pointing back at your site. 

You also want to avoid redirecting users with tracking parameters through 301 redirects – Google sometimes keeps track of where users came from when they arrive at a URL using a tracking parameter, so using them may reduce crawl budget as well. 

Other good tips include keeping a small number of internal links on pages, keeping files under 5MB, and utilizing sitemaps with details on important keywords/titles. Ensure crawling efficiency by following these best practices now!

How do you maintain your site's crawl budget?

A crawl budget is essentially a website's bandwidth. Simply put, your website should be able to handle as many pages (crawls) as it wants to, but it has a limited amount of resources that allow for those crawls. 

In other words, websites have a crawl budget that they can use up if their servers aren't optimized. If you're wondering how many crawl your site should have per month/year/how often, here are some quick guidelines: 

300-1,000 - Low crawl budget 10-30/day is usually fine 100+ - High crawl budget Sites with lower crawl budgets typically serve as informational sites and don't rely on high rankings in Google. 

If your low crawl budget site begins ranking well in Google, you might want to reconsider adding more content and thereby increasing your crawl rate because it could cause problems like page speed issues and indexation delays. 

Sites with higher crawl budgets either need money or performance marketing expertise because there’s no way around getting more powerful hardware or paying someone to optimize or run ads on larger sites – which costs more money than smaller sites. 

The same also applies when dealing with huge amounts of traffic, fast load times aren’t always possible due to scale. For example, it wouldn’t be feasible for CNN to host news articles on just one webpage.

To scale its content to potentially millions of users all over the world, CNN uses technologies such as dynamic serving so its static webpage doesn't crash under too much load. 

Don't worry though! As long as you keep your eye on your server logs—which are available in most web hosting control panels these days—you'll know exactly what users are doing so you can set realistic expectations about capacity planning for your team.

An easy mistake is assuming that since your site seems to function normally, it must be running perfectly and will never break down. 

But how do you prove there aren't any flaws hiding within your code somewhere? You can also never forget about firewalls and anti-virus software —many tools prevent access from outside sources entirely unless open ports are assigned.


In conclusion, the crawl budget is an important tool for website owners to protect their websites from search engine penalties. Since a site’s crawl budget can be limited by many factors, it’s important to monitor and adjust your web pages to ensure that you don’t run out of crawl budget. 

You should monitor your crawl budget by regularly monitoring PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix scores to see how long it takes Googlebot to load each page on your website. 

These reports will show you how many resources are being used by each page so that you can optimize them as needed.

In addition, you should always use Google Search Console so that you can identify which resources are using up most of your site’s crawl budget and prioritize accordingly.