Crawlability Problems: A Comprehensive Guide to Better SEO

Alivia Ariatna Fadila

Published at April 06, 2024 07:36 AM

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    Have you ever wondered why, after your best efforts at SEO optimization, your website doesn't show up in Google search results? Crawlability problems may be one of the causes.

    Crawlability refers to the ability of search engines like Google to find and comprehend your website's content.

    If your website has crawlability issues, search engine bots will struggle to find, index, and display it in search results.

    This might be bad for your SEO because a website that is unavailable to search engines will receive no organic traffic.

    In this article, we will look into crawlability issues and their causes. Read this article to find out more!

    What Are Crawlability Problems?

    Crawlability problems are described as anything that prevents search engines from being able to reach pages of your website.

    When search engines such as Google crawl your website, they read and analyze your pages using automated bots.

    Crawlability issues may present barriers for the bots, limiting their ability to access your pages in the right way.

    How Do Crawlability Problems Affect SEO?

    Crawlability problems can have a major effect on your SEO. When search engines crawl your website, they act like explorers by searching for as much content as they can.

    But if your site has problems with crawlability, search engines won't be able to see some (or any) of your pages.

    Consequently, they are unable to index, which prevents them from being saved for showing in search results. As a result, you will lose organic search engine traffic and conversions.

    If you want search engines to rank your pages, they need to be able to browse and store information.

    Top Crawlability Problems

    After learning what crawlability problems are and how they may harm your website's traffic, here are some of the most common crawlability problems:

    1. Slow Website Loading Speed

    Page loading time is one thing that might impact Google's top ranking. The faster a website loads, the faster SEO bots can crawl its content and the higher it ranks in SERP.

    Google will penalize your website if it’s slow and provides a poor user experience.

    One option is to use Google PageSpeed Insights to determine whether your website is sufficient enough. If your website is experiencing slowness, here are some ways to make it faster:

    • Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to send all user requests to the closest server and make your website load faster.
    • Switch to a quicker web host, especially when you're utilizing shared hosting.
    • Make sure your website’s images are optimized. If you want to slow down the loading time, you should compress the image size.
    • Make sure all plugins are always updated and remove unnecessary ones. More resources are needed to run more plugins can cause your pages to load very slowly.
    • Running a performance test can help you to find plugins that make the site load more slowly.
    • Reduce the amount of JavaScript and CSS files to speed up your website.
    • Find the 404 errors to prevent your website visitors from leaving.

    2. False Redirects

    If you are looking to redirect your old URLs to a new and more suitable website, you’ll need to use redirects.

    Redirect mistakes can cause frustration for users and they can happen at any time.

    These issues may prevent search engine crawlers from locating the sites you want to index and rank. Here are some things to consider when dealing with redirects:

    • Only utilize use permanent redirections, not temporary ones. Temporary redirection, such as 302 or 307, directs search engine crawlers to return to your website later. However, if you no longer want the page itself to be indexed anymore, utilize a permanent redirect (301) to save crawl funds.
    • Determine whether or not your site is afflicted with redirect loops. This is a situation in which one URL redirects to another and then points back to the original URL, trapping the crawler in an endless chain of redirections. It may waste your crawl cost and keep specific pages from being indexed.
    • Mark pages with a 403 status code as nofollow. These websites are probably only accessible to logged-in users. Therefore, to prevent search bots from wasting the crawl budget on them, you should mark these links as nofollow.

    3. Server Related Issues

    Have you ever received many 5xx errors? There is most likely an issue with your server. When this occurs, you can list the affected pages and distribute them to your web development teams.

    Ask them to look for bugs, website errors, or anything else that could be causing the problem. The following are a few of the most typical problems with 5xx errors:

    • Restricted server capacity: Your server will stop answering requests from users and bots if it gets too busy. The notice "Connection timed out" will appear on your screen if this occurs.
    • Configuration problems in the web server: This happens when search engines continue to get error warnings from your website even if it is accessible to users. Crawlers cannot reach any of your pages as a consequence.
    • Web application firewall: Certain server setups, including web application firewalls, are designed to defaultly stop crawling bots like Googlebot from accessing sites.

    4. Lack of Internal Links

    Pages without internal links can cause crawlability issues. Search engines will have difficulty finding the page.

    The first thing you can do is identify the orphan pages. To avoid crawlability issues, add an internal link to the archive page of the relevant page on your site.

    5. Pages Blocked In Robots.txt

    First and foremost, the search engine will analyze your robots.txt file. This file can instruct search engines about which pages to scan and which ones not to.

    If your robots.txt file appears like this, it means that your entire website is blocked from scanning:

    User-Agent: *

    Disallow: /

    To fix it, change the "disallow" order to "allow." This will allow search engines to crawl your entire website.

    User-Agent: *

    Allow: /

    Other situations also exist, such as when only specific pages or portions are restricted. For example:

    User-Agent: *

    Disallow: /product/

    This prevents any page in the "Products" subfolder from being scanned.

    To resolve this issue, delete the specified subfolder or page. The search engine ignored the empty "disallow" command.

    User-Agent: *

    Disallow:

    Another option is to tell the search engine to crawl your entire website by using the "allow" command.

    User-Agent: *

    Allow: /

    6. Access Restrictions

    Pages with restricted access, such as those behind login forms or paywalls, might keep search engine robots from scanning and indexing them.

    This means that these pages may not appear in search results, minimizing their visibility to visitors.

    As an example, you could find a membership-based or subscription platform with a single page that only paid members or registered users can see.

    This allows sites to offer exclusive content, special offers, and personalized experiences. Another goal is to make people feel like they are getting value and encourage users to subscribe or become members.

    Therefore, if a key part of your website is blocked, it could be a crawlability error. On each page, you can determine whether restricted access is necessary. Restrictions should be removed from some pages and saved for those that are required.

    How Sequence Stat Can Help You Navigate Crawlability Problems

    Crawlability is one of the critical aspects of making your website visible to search engines.

    However, problems might occur in the process due to several factors that have been mentioned above.

    Then, how can Sequence Stat help you with the problems?

    Sequence Stat offers a Rank Dashboard, a feature displaying the daily ranking of keywords in SERPs.

    On the dashboard, you will see various features, including Indexed URL and Last Crawl Time. Indexed URL reveals the indexed link associated with the keywords in your domain.

    If you are unable to locate the indexed URL, it may be because your website is not among the top 100 results in search engine rankings. Our system only crawls data that appears in positions 1-100 in the SERP.

    Meanwhile, Last Crawl Time shows the last time the system crawled the keywords.

    Thus, how do you know there is a crawling problem? The Sequence team allows users to receive a warning about crawling concerns.

    This situation arose because the crawler was unable to obtain the data, making it unavailable for display at the moment.

    This issue can be caused by a system error or a third-party error. System errors may happen if the system fails to fetch the data. If you encounter this problem, our team will re-crawl the data.

    On the other hand, if the problem is due to a third-party error, we will monitor it and present the data once it is available.

    If your website has crawlability problems, search engines will have difficulty finding, indexing, and displaying it in search results.

    This may be bad for your SEO because search engines won't send organic traffic to a website that isn't accessible.

    Sequence Stat provides an SEO solution to help you overcome crawlability issues and increase your website's SEO.

    Sequence Stat can help you improve the crawlability of your website and increase organic traffic.

    If you're looking for a comprehensive SEO solution that will help you improve your website's crawlability and SEO performance, Sequences is a wonderful option.

    To enjoy every feature at ease, you can register now to Sequence Stat and see how simple SEO tasks can be.