Trying to fix your WordPress SEO crawl budget?
An SEO crawl budget is the amount that search engines will crawl the pages on your site. A lower error budget can delay indexing your pages in a timely manner. This can hurt your SEO ranking and decrease your overall traffic.
In this article, we will explain the WordPress SEO crawl budget problem and how to fix it quickly.
Since this is a huge topic, we’ve broken it down into easy-to-understand sections. Here are the various points that we will cover in this article.
- How does search crawling work?
- What is SEO Crawl Budget?
- What Causes WordPress SEO Crawl Budget Problems?
- How to Calculate Your SEO Crawl Budget
- Why Care About SEO Crawl Budget?
- How to Easily Optimize SEO Crawl Budget in WordPress
How does search crawling work?
Search engines like Google use sophisticated bots (computer programs) to visit websites on the Internet.
These bots look for changes on the website and compare them to the main search index.
If they discover new content, they add it to the search index. If they find content that is already in the index but has changed, they update the index with the fresh content.
They follow the links on the page and then do the same for those pages as well.
The way bots move from one link to other links on a page is similar to how real spiders crawl along their webs.
This is why the term crawling is used to describe this activity, and you may sometimes see bots called search engine spiders.
For better SEO, you need to make sure that search engines can easily crawl your website.
Hint. See our complete WordPress SEO guide for beginners to learn more about SEO.
What is SEO Crawl Budget?
An SEO crawl budget is the amount that search engines like Google crawl the pages on your website.
Google bots crawl billions of pages every day. They try to calculate how many pages they will crawl on each site’s domain in order to use resources efficiently.
This number is automatically determined by crawling algorithms based on many factors.
It varies daily, which means there is no fixed number for how many pages the Google bot will crawl on your WordPress site.
In general, larger sites with more content have a higher crawl budget, while smaller sites have a lower budget.
Other factors also affect the crawl budget, such as URL popularity, freshness, update frequency, etc.
However, for several reasons, you can lose your budget on unwanted pages.
For example, if your site is not properly optimized, search engines will spend your crawl budget on less significant parts of your site than important content.
What Causes WordPress SEO Crawl Budget Problems?
The way WordPress generates URLs and duplicate content can cause budget creep issues.
For example, WordPress automatically generates RSS feeds for different areas of your site.
There are RSS feeds for the main blog, categories and tags, comments for each individual post and page, and even specific post types have separate RSS feed URLs.
Links to these RSS feeds are added to the HTML source of your website, making them discoverable by search engines.
Search engines are now smart enough to recognize duplicate content and ignore it. However, they will still crawl them and drain your SEO crawl budget.
Additionally, search engines will crawl less relevant stuff than necessary. This includes your archives, classifications, authors, PDF files, and more.
WordPress plugins or other third-party tools can also add query parameters to your WordPress URLs.
Google spiders may consider these query parameters as another page and crawl them.
For example, UTM parameters are used for Google Analytics tracking, and the page will still look the same with or without these query parameters.
This wastes your SEO crawl budget on less important points and becomes a problem.
How to Calculate Your SEO Crawl Budget
SEO crawl budget is not a set number of pages.
It fluctuates a lot, and there’s no reliable way to predict how many pages Google will crawl on your site on any given day.
However, you can get a pretty decent idea based on recent crawl activity to see how Google crawls your site.
If you haven’t done so, you must first add your site to Google Search Console. It’s a free tool provided by Google that helps website owners find out how their website is performing in Google Search.
Just go to your Search Console dashboard. From the left column, go to the Settings menu, then click Open Report next to Limit Statistics.
The Crawl Statistics report will show you an overview of crawl requests for your site over the past few weeks.
You can hover your mouse over the graph to see how many pages are required per day.
This gives you an idea of what the average crawl speed of your site was during this period.
Below that, you can see a breakdown of dive activity by response code, file types, purpose, and Google bot type.
This gives you a snapshot of things you can optimize to use your SEO crawl budget more effectively.
For example, if you have a lot of 404 errors crawling, you can use a redirect plugin to ensure those crawlers land on useful content.
(Later in the article, we show you how to redirect crawling errors step by step.)
Why Care About SEO Crawl Budget?
Search engines need to crawl your site efficiently so they can index your content at the right time.
However, if your SEO crawl budget is wasted, your important and new content may not be launched in time.
It can even take weeks for search engines to notice updates to your old articles or discover your new content.
You will miss out on getting traffic from search engines, your SEO ranking may not improve, and you will definitely lose money on sales or advertising.
How to Easily Optimize SEO Crawl Budget in WordPress
The easiest and safest way to optimize your SEO crawl budget in WordPress is to use All in One SEO for WordPress.
It is the best WordPress SEO plugin that comes with a built-in SEO crawl optimization tool.
First, you need to install and activate the All in One SEO WordPress plugin. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.
Note: There is also a free version of All in One SEO which also includes a crawl cleaning feature. We recommend using the PRO plan of the paid plugin as it will also give you access to the Redirect Manager tool to fix 404 errors on your site.
After activation, the application will show you a setup wizard. Just follow the on-screen instructions to set up the plugin.
After that you are good to go All in One SEO » Search View p.
Then just go to the Advanced tab.
Scroll to the bottom of the page and there you will see the “Crawl Cleanup” option.
Click the switch to enable the Crawl Cleanup feature.
The first option you’ll see when cleaning up a browse is to remove query arguments.
Below that, you can provide a list of query arguments you want to allow. Advanced users can use Regex regular expressions here.
Next, you’ll see options for WordPress RSS feeds. All in One SEO will show you all the different types of RSS feeds generated by WordPress, and you can disable the less important RSS feeds.
For example, if you have a single author blog, you can disable Author Feeds.
After turning off all unwanted RSS feeds, don’t forget to click the “Save Changes” button to save your settings.
How to set up redirects for bad pages
All in One SEO will automatically generate redirects for your disabled feeds. For example, a tag RSS feed will now direct users to the tag archive page.
Next, you need to go to your Google Search Console dashboard and open the dive statistics report.
From here you can see the pages that caused the errors.
Now, depending on the status code, you can configure redirects for those pages.
For example, you can redirect 404 errors to a similar page. You can check other pages for errors and post redirects to them as well.
All in One SEO makes it very easy to install redirects on your WordPress site. Just go All in One SEO » Redirects page and add the old URL under the “Source URL” and the new URL under the “Target URL” field.
Click the Add Redirect button to save your settings. You can then simply repeat the process to create more redirects as needed. For more details and alternative methods, see our guide on how to set up redirects in WordPress.
We hope this article helped you learn about the WordPress SEO crawl budget problem and how to fix it. You can also check out these expert tips for using Google Search Console to increase traffic or see practical examples of how to improve your organic click-through rate in WordPress.
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