Google the worlds biggest search engine and crawls websites on a continual basis. This helps Google index your website and find new content, but it can also cause duplicate content issues if you don’t take precautions to prevent them. Read this post to learn how often Google crawls sites and the risks of having too many pages indexed.
Anyone who has dabbled in the world of SEO has undoubtedly heard of the terms “crawl” and “index.”
Crawling and indexing are two indispensable components of SEO that help your content rank and make it accessible to a user. While you might know the basics of the two terms, many factors influence the rate at which a website gets crawled or indexed.
Website owners often ask pertinent questions regarding the frequency of crawling, how to get their pages re-crawled after making changes, how long the crawling process takes, and how they can speed it up. Before we answer these questions, it makes sense to introduce you to the concept of Google crawling.
So, let’s get started!
What Is Google Crawling?
The Basics Explained: Crawling and Indexing
Crawling is an essential process in the SEO universe. In it, Google sends a bot to your website to read the content. When Google bots crawl your site, it means there is a probability that the content will rank on the web.
However, Google doesn’t discover the pages on its own. Website owners need to submit a list of pages, known as a sitemap, to get Google to crawl their site. Once a URL is discovered, Google sends crawlers to the site to read all the fresh content, both text and non-text such as video and visuals, and determine whether the page is worth indexing.
Once the crawler has visited your page and analysed the content, it will store the link in Google’s index. We call this process indexing. Thus, the billions of web pages are stored in a wide database, and without access to the URLs, Google’s algorithm cannot discover or rank your content.
You can also submit indexing requests through the Google Search Console if you want more pages in the Google index.
Does Google Crawl All Websites?
Google cannot crawl your site on its own - it needs specific links and a sitemap to know about your site’s existence. Additionally, it does not crawl all pages. It starts with a specific set of pages that it last crawled and follows the URLs present on them to discover new sites across the web.
The Google bots crawl billions of web pages and add links present on these pages to its database. As a result, Google discovers new sites and links and uses them to update its index.
Once Google discovers a new site, it sends a crawler to analyse the pages and see whether it has relevant and fresh content. It also examines the images and videos to assess what the page is all about. A blog post or article cited by other pages is likely to be treated as an authority on a particular topic and indexed faster.
The good news is that as site owners, you get to ask Google to crawl your new pages through Google Search Console. You can do this by uploading an XML sitemap with the URL of the pages you want Google to index. This is also how you can inform Google about the changes made on your existing pages and request a re-crawl.
Which Web Pages Are Not Crawled?
As we have stated earlier, Google uses a sitemap to access and index updated content. It crawls through billions of website pages each day, and if your site has hindrances that prevent crawling, Google will stop sending bots over to your page.
This will affect indexing and your overall ranking. When bots cannot access your updated blog or article, your place in Google’s SEO rankings is reduced. Although the bots work efficiently to crawl pages, there are certain instances where a web page will not be crawled, and you cannot get Google to index them.
These situations include pages that are not accessible to anonymous users. If your page has password protection and is not open to random web users, then the chances of a Google crawl are prevented. If your page has been previously crawled or has a duplicate URL, then bots will not crawl it frequently.
Sometimes, robots.txt blocks certain pages, and Google cannot crawl them. So, check whether your URL has been blocked and make the necessary changes.
How Can I Tell If Google Has Crawled My Site?
Google crawls your site once it has the link and access to it. However, you might be curious to know if Google has already crawled your site. Well, you can find your answer through Google Search Console. This tool helps site owners check whether Google bots are visiting their page.
The Google Search Console shows the last time bots visited your site as well as how frequently they crawl your page. As such, these statistics help you understand the index potential of your site and what updates and changes you should make to improve SEO and get your content to rank higher.
In addition, you can ask Googlebot to re-crawl your pages through the search console and limit your crawl rate too. One of the latest updates Google introduced was the URL inspection tool that gives more transparent information and helps site owners understand how Google views a particular site.
When you enter a link in the Google Search Console, the engine will give data about the last crawl date, errors encountered while the site was being crawled or indexed, and other important information.
Although Google Analytics can really help you in segregating your traffic and determining what appeals to people who visit your site, it is important that you know how to deal with your website content. We’ll talk more about this in the next section.
How Can I Make Google Crawl My Site Faster?
There are certain ways you can use to improve the crawling frequency of your web content. These have been listed below:
1. Update Your Site
Add fresh content and new material to your site to boost the crawl rate. You can add relevant content to the blog section of your page and update it frequently with information pertaining to your industry. Remember to include videos, pictures, and graphs to improve readability. For instance, if you are a digital agency, you can write about SEO, Google Ads, etc.
2. Use Sitemaps
Merely updating content isn’t enough - you have to submit these pages to search engines.
Inform the Google Search Console about your updates using an XML sitemap. You can also link a new page to your existing pages that have ranked well. This helps bots discover and crawl your site faster. Besides, ensure your site is mobile-friendly.
3. Share Content
One of the surest ways to draw attention to your site is through sharing. Share your content on social platforms and within industry communities. You can also piggyback on the popularity of other sites by offering guest posts.
4. Use Internal Linking
Internal linking is another way to get search engines to notice your page. When other websites share your content or publish links to it, it alerts Google, and it rewards you by sending bots over to your website that aid in the indexing process.
The higher the number of backlinks your page has, the higher is the chance of attracting organic traffic to your website. Of course, the condition here is that your content needs to be reliable and credible.
5. Keep Your Data Structured
Make sure that your data is SEO-compliant, with proper meta tags and catchy titles. Also, update your pages. Google uses its resources intelligently, so if your page is not accessible or your data isn’t well-structured, then the search engine stops sending bots over to your page.
As a result, the chances of a user finding your site are minimised, and your index rank is reduced.
How Often Does Google Crawl A Site?
Now, coming back to the question that has been bothering you - “how often does Google crawl a site?” The short answer is, it is nearly impossible to know the exact rate, even if you are an expert in the digital marketing field.
But, certain factors can play a crucial role, as we have discussed above. Frequent website updates, domain authority, backlinks, etc, help increase the frequency of crawling.
There is also something called a crawl budget that determines the number of pages Google bots crawl on your site during a particular timeframe. It is important to optimise your crawl budget by adding new pages and by eliminating dead links and redirects since their presence in your sitemap can really impact your site’s indexing.
Summing Up How Long Before Google Crawls My Site?
As per Google, their bots frequently crawl internet pages to add them to their indexed database and update the SERPs.
The exact algorithm is unknown, but there are ways you can ensure your site gets efficiently and regularly crawled. Naturally, the more visitors you get, the more intrigued Google’s crawler will be by your page, and the crawling rate will be higher. This will result in a higher ranking on SERPs.
Besides, make sure your page is fast and doesn’t encounter connectivity errors. What remains most important is the quality of your content, landing pages, and the visual layout of your webpage. It can take Google anywhere between 4 days to a month to crawl and index your site.
So, be patient and focus on adopting suitable strategies that improve the crawl rate!
It’s important to know the basics of SEO, but it’s also important to understand what is going on behind the scenes. Crawling and indexing are two indispensable components that help your content rank and make it accessible for a user.
There are many factors that influence how quickly a website will be crawled or indexed; this can include things like link popularity, site speed, bandwidth availability, page load time etcetera.
If you want more information about crawling and indexing ranking factors as well as other aspects of digital marketing we offer services such as search engine optimization (SEO) consulting or web design in Australia call us at 1300 755 306.
Kristi is head of content production and editing at sitecentre™ and joined the team in early 2021 based out of our Sunshine Coast office to deliver higher-quality content to our partners. Kristi has a vast knowledge of copywriting styles and experience to accelerate the production of SEO friendly content at the highest levels.