While we understand a fair amount about Googlebot and how it crawls and indexes web pages, Google’s crawler has always been a bit of a mystery. Every SEO knows that optimization for search engines isn’t enough by itself to keep search engine bots happy – you need to optimize for Googlebot, and that goes even deeper.
Naturally, there’s some overlap because crawlability and searchability are inextricably linked. But building a website that enables Googlebot to index your site easily and accurately is its own challenge to be undertaken.
There is some good news, though: Google announced the launch of a brand-new Search Console Crawl Stats report. As of right now, web owners will have a much clearer picture of how Googlebot crawls their sites.
These aren’t small alterations, either. The Crawl Stats report has been given a serious makeover and includes way more valuable data and actionable insights than before. The verdict is out, and the new report is already proving incredibly useful for tracking changes in Googlebot’s crawl patterns. New features include:
- An intuitive grouping of the total requests. Requests are broken down by response code, crawled file type, crawl purpose and Googlebot type.
- URL examples that show where site requests have occurred. You can click on a row in the grouping table to see example URLs of each type.
- Detailed information on host status. The new information allows you to see your site’s availability to Google in the last 90 days.
- A comprehensive summary for domains with multiple hosts. Any domain properties with several hosts can now view status reports and evaluate each of the top hosts’ performance.
A new chart also shows crawl stats over time, giving access to information like the total crawl requests over a period of time, the average response time and the total downloaded data.
This new Crawl Stats Report is a considerable improvement on the previous iteration, which left many users with more questions than answers about Google’s crawling history on their sites. However, Google can now show you exactly why it had issues accessing your site and what these issues were, making the debugging process far less intimidating.
With these new features providing a deeper insight into how Google crawls websites, any SEO professional stands to boost their performance on search engine results pages (SERPs) by regularly scrutinizing their new and improved Crawl Stats report.
More SEO News You Can Use
Microsoft Bing Is About to Become Your Personal Stylist: If you find online clothes shopping a drag at the best of times, you’re not alone. But Bing is coming to the rescue, adding a brand-new feature to its search results page just in time for the holiday shopping season. A new shopping hub, “Shop the Look,” serves as your clothing inspo, helping you find your next favorite outfit with ease. Simply search the item of clothing you’re looking for and Bing will show you a variety of styles and looks, all linking directly to the retailer’s page. Google has done something similar before, but Bing’s seems to be more streamlined. A Microsoft Bing blog explains the new features in detail, and there’s some super-cool stuff worth checking out.
Something Strange Has Been Happening on Google My Business (GMB): A large number of complaints have been flooding GMB help forums, all saying the same thing. Business listings are suddenly being suspended, confounding the SEO community. The suspensions are account-wide, so accounts with multiple business listings are seeing all their listings suspended. But through a number of Twitter conversations, Barry Schwartz was able to confirm that many of these suspensions were warranted. As it turns out, if GMB flags an owner or manager, any listing under that particular account gets suspended – meaning now might be a good time to double-check who has access to your GMB account.
Other Sites Copying Your Content Won’t Ruin Your Rankings: Google’s John Mueller has spoken once again. A concerned Twitter user, who said multiple low-quality sites were scraping and publishing content from his website, asked Mueller if this would affect his rankings. Mueller responded, “Others copying your content wouldn’t be reason for your pages to rank lower.” Duplicate content has been an SEO no-no for as long as SEO has been a thing, so it’s pretty hard to believe – so hard to believe, in fact, that many SEOs don’t. But it’s worth it to remember that copied content can outrank original content if the site that published the original content has search quality issues.
Here’s How to Get Backlinks in 2021: Link building has been a hot topic this past year, and in 2021, it’s going to be no different. To prepare you for another year of trying to earn those precious backlinks, Moz is giving you all the tools you need. In a recent Whiteboard Friday video, SEO expert Britney Muller goes all-in on the topic, sharing a bunch of actionable tips for link prospecting in 2021. This is the second part of her link building series and follows on from a June video that covered the basics. Both offer helpful, step-by-step outlines for link building with the best of them, so set aside a few minutes to check them both out if you haven’t already.
Google Guarantee Icons Are Appearing on Google Maps Listings: Google has been doing tons of testing over the past few weeks, and one of these tests is manifesting as an inexplicable influx of Google Guarantee icons on Google Maps. The Google Guarantee was recently made available to businesses at a monthly fee, only appearing on local business profiles and in the Local Pack. But now, these badges are running amok. The businesses this is being tested on are already signed up for Local Service Ads, and as yet, it seems they only appear on desktop. Local Services Ads have long been viewed as disruptive to other local advertisers, so Google potentially giving even more power to them could spell trouble down the line.
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