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Have you ever noticed when Google seems to act weird on your site? Although the crawling of your website by Googlebot is generally a good thing—after all, it means that all your content is being indexed and ranked within search—there are times when excessive crawling can raise a red flag. This can overload a server, impinging on performance and, thus, the user experience. In this post, we’ll cover what precisely excessive crawling means, why it happens, and how to manage it effectively.

What is Google Crawling?

Google crawl is when Googlebot goes to your site and indexes its pages. This procedure is very critical for all your content to appear in the search engine results.

Why is Crawling Important?

Crawling ensures that all of your new, updated content on the site will be discoverable and indexable by Google for ranking purposes in SERP.

Excessive Crawling Signs

Abnormal Server Load

One of the very first signs of excessive crawling would be an abnormal server load increase. This slows down a website, thus affecting user experience.

Increased Bandwidth Usage

A significant increase in bandwidth could indicate a case of Googlebot hitting you at a higher frequency than necessary for your website.

Performance Issues

Excessive crawling may be the case not only for performance problems but also for other performance-related issues, such as slow page loading, thus slowing down the SEO of the website and engagement of its users.

Why Excessive Crawling Happens?

Frequent Content Updates

If you update your content quite frequently, Googlebot will very likely start visiting the pages more often to ensure that it has indexed the most up-to-date information.

Site Configuration Problems

Misconfigured site settings may invite it to be crawled more frequently involuntarily. For example, incorrect usage of the robots.txt file may lead to unwanted consequences.

Duplicate Content

What happens is that either—and sometimes both—duplicate content or several versions of the same page make Googlebot use more time on your site than is needed.

Impact of Excessive Crawling

Server Overload

An overloaded server may slow operations or cause it to go down, frustrating the users to the point of driving away.

Negative SEO Effects

Google might interpret the server issues caused by excessive crawling as a sign of a poorly maintained site, potentially affecting your SEO rankings.

User Experience

Slow loading times and frequent downtime can destroy the user experience; this then minimizes the chances of the first-time visitor making a second visit.

Managing Google Crawling

Optimizing robots

Provide a guide for Googlebot on what pages should be crawled and how often through the robots.txt file; when properly configured, this should ensure that unnecessary crawling is avoided.

Using Crawl Delay

Setting the crawl delay directive can, Consequently, help smoothen out the load over a more extended period, putting less stress on your server.

Monitoring Crawl Activity

Keep updating on any anomalies in crawling behavior by regularly checking the Google search console for crawl statistics.

Tools to Manage Crawling

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a great tool to keep up with crawling activity and, more specifically, visits by Googlebot and problems it encounters during the crawl.

Server Logs Analysis

Analyzing server logs for a crawl pattern: find out how often Googlebot crawls your site and what pages it accesses most often.

SEO Tools

Tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, etc. will help you to get more insights into the crawling patterns so you can identify and act in case of excessive crawling.

Best Practices for Preventing Excessive Crawling

Regular Site Audits

Audit regularly to ensure that your site is search engine optimized and light on issues that might invite excessive crawling.

Efficient URL Structure

Keep a clean and efficient URL structure. Beware of duplicate content, and when possible, make it unnecessary based on URL parameters only.

Quality Content Management

Focus on having high-quality content, and update regularly; however, refrain from making many minor changes, as this could be a trigger for too much crawling.

Conclusion

Excessive crawling by Google may trigger a red flag on the performance of your website and user experience. Knowing what is causing it and how to manage effectively it will make sure that these visits from Googlebot are helpful and don’t affect your content. Keeping track of the trends in its visits and optimizing them at regular intervals will be needed to keep visibility and performance balanced.

Sandeep Goel

Author Sandeep Goel

Sandeep Goel is the founder and CEO of Obelisk Infotech. He is a 1st generation entrepreneur working for over a decade and providing digital marketing services worldwide helping startups and building visibility for businesses through content and digital marketing.

He started his career as an SEO Analyst with US clients, which helped him polish his search engine optimization skills and gain a better understanding of digital culture and enhance his sales and marketing skills.

He also loves to write and regularly shares his views on blog sections. He is instrumental in company growth by creating and implementing processes, platform partners, and technologies to streamline operations at the micro and macro levels.

Founder (Obelisk Infotech)

Sandeep Goel

Sandeep Goel is the founder and CEO of Obelisk Infotech. He is a 1st generation entrepreneur working for over a decade and providing digital marketing services worldwide helping startups and building visibility for businesses through content and digital marketing. He started his career as an SEO Analyst with US clients, which helped him polish his search engine optimization skills and gain a better understanding of digital culture and enhance his sales and marketing skills. He also loves to write and regularly shares his views on blog sections. He is instrumental in company growth by creating and implementing processes, platform partners, and technologies to streamline operations at the micro and macro levels. Founder (Obelisk Infotech)