Crawl Errors And Crawl Budget: Can They Be Ranking Factors?

Have you ever wondered how search engines like Google bring us the answers to our queries? Search engines work by slithering hundreds of billions of pages to find the most relevant and frequent results for our searches. The number of people likely to go to the second page of Google’s search results is just a namesake. This is why everybody chooses Search Engine Optimization( SEO ) to get their websites ranked high in search results. Many factors can affect the ranking of a web page on search engines, such as high-quality content, page experience, page speed, internal links, external links, on-page optimization, etc. Our question is, can crawl errors and crawl budget be enlisted along those factors? Let’s go find out.

Crawling And Indexing

Let’s have a look at crawling v/s indexing. Crawling can be defined as the discovery of web pages and links that lead to more pages. Indexing is organizing, analyzing, and storing the content and connection between pages. This is the difference between crawling v/s indexing. Search engines like Google will send out a team of bots to find newly updated content, such as a web page, a PDF, a video, an image, etc. These robots are known as crawlers or web spiders. In simple words, the answer to the question ‘how web spiders work’ would be like this; a web crawler works by reviewing and categorizing web pages and discovering URLs. 

Googlebot is the generic name of Google’s two types of web crawlers, such as Googlebot Desktop and Googlebot Smartphone. Googlebot will analyze pages considering Google Algorithm Updates, keyword ranking factors, etc. A bunch of finite instructions to be followed in problem-solving operations or other calculations can be denoted with the term algorithm. Search engines work with plenty of such algorithms.

Crawl Errors And Crawl Budget

Consider a page’s passage from being just a page to being shown in a results page on a search engine; crawling is the very beginning of that passage. Before evaluating and deciding the position of a web page on search results, search engines must discover the page. The total time or limit of time that Google ( or crawlers of search engines ) spends to crawl a site is called the crawl budget of that site or page. Crawl errors are the technical obstacles interrupting Google’s ability to crawl a site. Crawl budget and crawl errors are considered by many as ranking factors. Why? 

Improving the crawl budget and reducing crawl errors are significant focuses of technical search engine optimization (SEO). If Google is not crawling a page due to a limited crawl budget or errors, the page can not rank for anything. As mentioned before, if a page wants to appear in Google search results, it must be crawled by Googlebot. Hence some marketers consider the crawl budget as a ranking factor. Let’s check if there is any evidence for this claim or not. 

The process of how a page gets from a website to the SERP (search engine result page) involves three steps: crawling, indexing, and ranking. Crawl errors and crawl budget fall under ‘crawling.’ Indexing is storing a page in a catalog for quick retrieval after analyzing it. A page can be displayed in search results once the crawling is done. Based on how quickly and accurately Google thinks a page answers a query, ranking enlists the most relevant webpage on the top of results, immediately followed by other pages. 

To be considered a ranking factor, something should be weighed during the ranking stage, where most of the analysis is performed by Google’s algorithms. Although crawling is required for ranking once met, it is just a prerequisite that is not weighed in the ranking process. Readers get reassured by Google’s documentation that crawling is a necessity for getting into search results, yet it is not a ranking factor. 

That leaves us with the bottom line; crawl errors and crawl budget can not be enlisted as ranking factors.