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Google’s crawl strategy: Quality content takes the lead.

April 25, 2024 0 comments

In a significant update from Google’s Search Relations team, the longstanding myths surrounding the concept of a “crawl budget” have been addressed, offering clarity to SEO professionals and website owners alike.

This revelation emphasizes the importance of content quality over quantity, reshaping strategies for improving website visibility in Google’s search results.

Clarifying the crawl budget concept

The term “crawl budget” has often been misunderstood within the SEO community, suggesting a limit to the number of pages Google can crawl on a website daily. This concept led to concerns about the need to manage this budget carefully to ensure all important pages are indexed.

However, recent insights from Google have shifted the focus from quantity to quality, debunking previous assumptions about how Google prioritizes site crawling.

Google’s criteria for crawling: An insightful discussion

In a revealing podcast, Google’s Search Relations team, provided valuable insights into the factors influencing Google’s crawling decisions.

Contrary to the rigid concept of a crawl budget, Google employs a more dynamic approach, prioritizing pages based on content quality and relevance to search queries.

The role of search demand in crawling

Gary Illyes highlighted the significance of “search demand” in determining crawl frequency. This term, although not explicitly defined by Illyes, suggests that Google’s interest in crawling specific content is closely tied to its relevance and demand among search queries.

In essence, if content aligns with current search trends and user interests, it’s more likely to be crawled and indexed promptly.

“One is the scheduler, which basically says that I want to crawl this. But that’s also kind of controlled by some feedback from search. […] If search demand goes down, then that also correlates to the crawl limit going down,” says Gary Illyes.

Increasing crawl frequency through quality

“So if you want to increase how much we crawl, then you somehow have to convince search that your stuff is worth fetching, which is basically what the scheduler is listening to,” emphasizes Gary Illyes.

He further added, “Scheduling is very dynamic. As soon as we get the signals back from search indexing that the quality of the content has increased across this many URLs, we would just start turning up demand.”

The key takeaway from Google’s update is the direct correlation between content quality and crawl frequency. Websites aiming to enhance their visibility should focus on improving the quality and user relevance of their content. This strategy not only aligns with Google’s crawling priorities but also ensures that websites meet the evolving needs and preferences of their target audience.

Conclusion: A shift in focus

Google’s recent clarification marks a pivotal shift in how SEO professionals and website owners should approach content creation and optimization.

The myth of a fixed crawl budget has been dispelled, making way for a more nuanced understanding of Google’s crawling mechanisms.

By prioritizing high-quality, relevant content, websites can better align with Google’s criteria, ensuring their pages are crawled and indexed effectively, without the constraints of an arbitrary limit.

If you’re interested in hearing the full conversation, you can find it in the following episode of the Search Off the Record podcast by Google.

So, how are you planning to improve the quality of your content? Has Google’s crawler been kind to you?

Let us know in the comment section below.

And if you need any help or have any questions, give us a call.