When it comes to increasing visibility and growing your website, it should go without saying that Google is one of the most important forces in the market. Whether or not your site is visible on Google dictates whether customers and clients can find you, which in turn strongly influences whether or not you get the business you want.
With that in mind, you should be doing everything you can to increase your SEO. One of the ways Google determines whether or not your site is worthy of indexing is “crawling”, which is where Google looks through its list of websites and adds them to an index. If you’re a website owner, you need to pay attention to crawling.
You might have a lot of questions about Google crawling your website, and that’s understandable. How often does Google crawl a website? What can you do to make its crawling more effective? We’re here to answer those very questions. Here’s our beginner’s guide to how often Google crawls your website and what you can do about it!
What does crawling mean?
In broad terms, “crawling” refers to the process by which Google finds and adds new websites to its list. Google is constantly updating its list of pages online, and the ways it does this are manifold. Often, website owners will essentially “ask” Google to index their pages, which is a quick and easy way to get Google to recognise a page.
Another way Google crawls pages is to look for sites that are often linked by other sites organically; if a site has a lot of backlinks, then Google will be more likely to come across that page, so it will be more likely to crawl it and index it. In a nutshell, the more popular a site is, the more likely Google is to crawl it.
How often does Google crawl a website?
That entirely depends. A general estimate of how often Google crawls websites would be between every four days and every thirty days, but it depends on a number of factors. If your site is updated more frequently, then Google will crawl it more often, because the bot crawls for sites that are newer. In addition, if your site is more popular with users, it’s more likely to be crawled more frequently, because more people are visiting it on a regular basis.
Why is crawling important?
It should be fairly obvious why crawling is important for a website. If Google doesn’t crawl your site, then it means your site isn’t visible to the search engine, which means users won’t be able to find the site there either. Naturally, that means you’re missing out on a huge amount of traffic, so it’s important to make sure Google is crawling your site.
Google crawling your site naturally is also a strong indicator of popularity and success. If your site is being crawled regularly by Google and you’re not manually asking the search engine to do so, then it means you’ve got the structure in place for Google to crawl, which in turn means that you’ve established your site successfully.
How can I get Google to crawl my website more often?
This is the million-dollar question, but it’s actually a very easy one to answer. The truth is that getting Google to crawl your website is very simple indeed. Per Google’s own guidelines, there are a number of things you can do to increase the chances that your website is crawled, and here are some of them.
- Wait. One of the best things you can do when it comes to Google crawling your site is simply to wait. Sometimes, it takes time for Google to recognise and register a new page; Google’s crawling process isn’t instantaneous, so it might just be that you haven’t waited long enough for your site to appear.
- Get backlinks. Getting other sites to link back to you is a great way to ensure Google crawls your site. However, you should make sure that you’re not paying for backlinks directly, as this can be seen as a violation of Google’s guidelines, which could in turn actually harm your chances of being crawled.
- Build your site on HTML. If you haven’t used HTML to build your site, Google can have trouble crawling it, because the bot is trained to look for HTML markers. Consider switching your site to HTML, and if you absolutely must build it on some other architecture, ask your designer if there’s anything they can do to streamline the site’s design a little.
- Use Incognito Mode. If you’re using Chrome, try firing up your website in Incognito Mode. If you can do this and the site loads without a problem, then you shouldn’t have any issues getting crawled. If, however, the site won’t load in Incognito Mode or if you notice an error, then Google is probably getting that same error, which will in turn lead to crawling errors.
- Manually ask Google to crawl your site. There’s a chance that Google just missed your site while it was crawling. If that’s the case, you can manually ask Google to crawl for you. This can be done either by using Google’s URL Inspection tool or by submitting a whole sitemap, which is useful if you’ve just moved your site or just launched a site with a complex web of interlinking pages. Remember to try the other steps listed above before you try this one, though.