How important are crawl bots to a domain name that is developed into a website?

Developing a domain name into a website is the best way to increase domain name value. The highest traffic value comes from organic traffic, that is the traffic which comes naturally from search engines.

One of the key components of SEO is website optimizations for crawl bots. A crawl bot that can properly pick all the relevant information about your website, follow the links to all website pages, as well as linked off-page content, will help your website and concurrently the domain name, get the most online visibility.

Because your developed domain name needs this online visibility to reach the target audience as well as potential domain buyers, we could conclude that such website optimizations for crawl bots is of very high importance, and stop there. However, we will not, but instead, offer additional insight and suggestions.

It is important to assess your website crawl budget

Talking about crawl bots, to an average website owner who understands the basics of SEO, we can expect that the conversation would end with the subject of the internal and external page linking. Users understand that pages inside the website should be inter-linked, as well as links to off-page content which will lead crawl spider to other relevant websites. After all, you are who you keep company with, and the same can be said for websites too.

This kind of view on the “crawl spiders” may overlook that these are essentially software, computer program, with the goal of collecting information about web pages, and it is important to know how often and how successful they can collect information with your website.

Crawl bots or spider bots are in our lives every day!

From Googles point of view, smaller websites do not need to worry about the crawl bot visit frequency to their websites, but the optimizations that lead to better crawling results will have an overall very positive effect on your site health.

For example, removing pages that are not reachable by visitors and crawl bot will lead to a leaner website which is easier to crawl and it prevents users getting stuck, which again leads to better SEO and potentially higher conversion rate with your visitors.

Essentially, there is no true metric for website crawlability, though Google’s John Muller offered crucial insight. Because spider bot algorithms are dynamic and they adapt to your website’s crawling conditions relatively quickly, two main website attributes can influence the spider bot crawling frequency with your website:

  • A website with the slow page loading speed, due to broken CMS or other issues, will impact crawling frequency in a negative way. Because crawl bot takes notice of the slow crawling speed, he is less likely to crawl soon again through your website information.
  • Spider bot will increase the frequency of crawling visits to your website once you improve page loading speed, either through CDN, caching, faster hosting or other means.

Actually, this is nothing new, but this information may have slipped by many website administrators and owners.

Suggestions for best practices

Make all of your website pages accessible to both users and crawl bots, or keep the blocked content to a reasonable minimum.

Blocked content will not provide any value to the site. Alternatively, if you have blocked a large portion of your website, crawl bot may assume you made an error and proceed to go through these pages too.

Use HTML pages where possible

Yes, crawl bot algorithms are improving every day, and so is their ability to go through JavaScript, Flash, and XML but plain HTML is still much easier for crawling. If your website contains a large number of such script pages, consider adding text versions of these pages for spider bots.

Minimize long redirects

Redirected URLs spend a significant amount of your crawl budget, while crawl bot may not follow redirect that is too long. The best practice is to limit redirects, preferably to two consecutive, and have all your off-page links crawlable.

Repair and remove HTTP errors

HTTP errors will bring confusion to both visitors and spider bots. Make sure you deal with such issues swiftly and promptly as they again will consume part of your crawl budget.

Crawl bots make up a considerable part of modern Internet traffic

Additional insight and conclusion

One may conclude that not much has changed with the overall way search engines crawl websites. Fact is now that we have a better understanding of the process, we can work on improving our websites crawlability, and score major SEO points.

On the last note, I must offer additional insight about growing your crawl budget. Experts noticed that strong external links are related to your crawling budget and it will scale accordingly, by growing. Recent testing did not repeat the same findings which may indicate crawl algorithms have become more advanced, though John mentioned crawls are based on demand, and our opinion is that with strong links so will website crawl demand will only go up.