The Internet is becoming overcrowded with more and more websites. Almost every business is struggling to rank at the top of Google Search Engine Result Pages.
Now there are a lot of factors that might be impacting your ranking; Crawl Depth is a major one. It can significantly boost or pull down your ranking. I regularly receive queries related to crawl depth & its solutions.
So here I am, with a detailed guide on what a Crawl Depth is, what are Crawl Depth issues & How you can solve them.
So let’s get started.
On this page
What is Crawl Depth?
To understand Crawl Detox, let’s first understand how Search Engines like Google work. When the user types some query in the search box, specialized programs, generally known as Crawlers or Bots, start exploring Google’s database for relevant information.
This exploration is generally referred to as “Crawling”. These Crawlers deliver all the necessary information about websites with relevant content to the search engines.
Later, the Search Engine indexes the Website based on the Content’s relevance to the user’s query. In short, the more efficiently the Crawlers get information from the Website, the higher rank will the Website have.
Now let’s come to our primary question.
Putting it in simple terms:
Crawl Depth is the number of clicks; a particular page is away from the Home Page of any website. The Crawl Depth of the Home Page is always “0”.
Let’s say you own an E-commerce website & your user wants to open the “Wishlist” page. If the user has to click three different locations consecutively to reach that page, the Crawl Depth of the “Wishlist” Page is considered “3”.
It’s like opening a file in the Subfolder or a Folder on your P.C.
In short, the more your Particular Page is “away” from the Home Page, the less are its chances to rank high on SERPs.
So while designing a website, it’s essential to keep the Crawl Depth of your Crucial Pages below “5”.
Let’s understand what Crawl Depth issues & how to address them are.
How Does Crawl Depth Impact Your SEO?
Let’s take the word of John Mueller from Google to answer this question. According to him, the number of clicks needed to reach a particular page is more important than the URL structure of any website for ranking.
In simple words, even if your page is perfect in every way, Google won’t rank it if it takes too many clicks to reach it.
Let’s understand why.
While crawling, Google has a specific “Crawl Budget” per website for its crawlers. The reason is crawler has to crawl a lot of websites within microseconds. So, the crawler will spend limited time on each website.
Now, if crucial pages of your website have higher Crawl Depth, its apparent Crawlers will ditch crawling within a short time. And hence, your website will not rank on the SERP.
So it’s essential to manage the Crawl Depth of your Website using the below-mentioned steps.
What are Crawl Depth issues & How to solve them?
Pagination refers to dividing a large piece of content into multiple pages. E.g., if you have long lists or a low number of items on a single page, it can lead to “Pagination.”
Segregating the Content offers ease of navigation, but it might discourage crawlers from crawling Deep Pages.
It generally occurs on the Website’s Primary Content like Services, Products & Articles.
How to solve it?
The simple solution is to create a new & shorter pathway to the Deep Pages. Reduce lists & add more content to a single page.
Dynamic URLs are designed to filter out items that are to be listed on a particular webpage. This acts as a filter & eliminates unwanted items from the page. It works by generating similar URLs.
Unfortunately, such filtration causes critical Crawling Issues due to the duplication of pages.
How to solve it?
The best way to solve this issue is to mark the particular link with the Nofollow attribute. You can also block these Dynamic URLs via parameter tools available in the Bing Web Master or Google Search Console.
301 Redirects occur when the crawler reaches a web page without trailing slashes. The issue arises, especially when the Website is migrated & some URLs will get linked without trailing slash.
How to solve it?
The best way to solve this issue is to update your URLs & limit the number of 301 redirects. The lesser redirects, the lesser Crawlers will have to crawl, reducing Crawl Depth.
Broken Links are a significant issue that adversely impacts your Crawl Depth. If you have multiple broken links on your website, the Crawlers will spend their entire Crawl Budget index on the broken links. As a result, they won’t reach the relevant page.
How to solve it?
The best way is to utilize some site audit tools to identify & fix these broken links. Once done, it will reduce the Crawl Depth of your particular page.
Slower Load Speed
For Crawlers, time is critical. So if your Website takes more than a split second to load, Crawlers will not waste their budget.
How to solve it?
Multiple factors might impact your website’s speed. So the first step is to verify whether your website is fast enough. You can use Google PageSpeed Insight to determine it.
If the issue persists, it’s time to reach out to the experts.
This is what we did at WittySparks to increase the Crawl Efficiency
Instead of placing all the categories within the site header navigation as a mega menu, we decided to have a separate page for Topics, which includes a list of categories/topics, best authors, pillar articles, and a monthly-based archive. Took this inspiration from the A List Apart Topics page.
Also, made these small changes to reduce the crawl depth further. Placed the list of categories on the home page to get the zero crawl depth to category pages.
And the other small change we did to cover the zero depth for the topics page from each page is by keeping our main topics in the footer as shown below.
Make these changes in your website and see the improvement in Crawl Depth which helps to increase SEO.
Crawl Depth is a critical factor that impacts your website’s ranking a lot. So it’s essential to pay attention to it & solve all the Crawl Depth issues as soon as possible.
A website with minimal Crawl Depth will rank better & bring in more traffic. So start today.
I hope this guide on Crawl Depth will help you improve your website’s ranking on Search Engines.
For any more information related to SEO, feel free to visit our SEO section.
Is Crawl Depth important for SEO?
Yes, it’s essential. Even Google itself admits that Crawl Depth carries more weight than the Website’s URL structure.
How can I reduce the Crawl Depth of my web pages?
There are multiple ways to do so. I have mentioned five primary steps in the above blog. Please check out for more clarity.
What is a Crawl Depth in SEO?
Crawl Depth is the number of clicks required to reach a particular page from the Home Page of any website.