Friday, March 24, 2023

Google: Don't Use 403/404 Error Responses For Rate Limiting Googlebot - Search Engine Journal

Last updated Monday, February 20, 2023 06:05 ET , Source: NewsService

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Google published guidance on how to properly reduce Googlebot’s crawl rate due to an increase in erroneous use of 403/404 response codes, which could have a negative impact on websites.

The guidance mentioned that the misuse of the response codes was rising from web publishers and content delivery networks.

Rate Limiting Googlebot

Googlebot is Google’s automated software that visits (crawls) websites and downloads the content.

Rate limiting Googlebot means slowing down how fast Google crawls a website.

The phrase, Google’s crawl rate, refers to how many request for webpages per second that Googlebot makes.

There are times when a publisher may want to slow Googlebot down, for example if it’s causing too much server load.

Google recommends several ways to limit Googlebot’s crawl rate, chief among them is through the use of the Google Search Console.

Rate limiting through search console will slow down the crawl rate for a period of 90 days.

Another way of affecting Google’s crawl rate is through the use of Robots.txt to block Googlebot from crawling individual pages, directories (categories), or the entire website.

A good thing about Robots.txt is that it is only asking Google to refrain from crawling and not asking Google to remove a site from the index.

However, using the robots.txt can have result in “long-term...

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