Google intended to phase out the search console crawl rate limiter tool by January 8, 2024. This decision stems from advancements in crawling techniques that render the tool redundant, marking a shift toward enhanced crawling efficiency.
Evolution of Search Console: The Journey of the Crawl Rate Limiter Tool
Introduced in 2008, the Search Console Crawl Rate Limiter Tool was a mechanism for publishers to manage Googlebot crawling. Its primary goal was to prevent server overload by allowing control over the crawling frequency. At that time, server strain due to excessive crawling posed issues for some publishers, hindering the delivery of web pages to users.
Following user complaints, Google integrated this tool into the Search Console, addressing the need for better control over crawling activity.
The tool’s functionality centered around providing Google with actionable data. According to Google, requests to limit crawling typically took around a day to implement and remained active for 90 days.
Google’s Decision to Remove the Rate Limiter Tool
In a recent announcement, Google pointed out the advancements in crawling algorithms that now enable Googlebot to autonomously detect server capacity, automatically adjusting the crawl rate as needed. This enhancement renders the rate limiter tool-less essential. Moreover, Google noted that the tool saw minimal usage, and when utilized, the crawl rate tended to be set at its lowest level.
As part of this transition, the default minimum crawl rate will mirror the rates frequently requested by publishers, effectively aligning with their typical preferences.
The announcement specified, “By discontinuing the crawl limiter tool, we’re establishing a default minimum crawling speed akin to the previous crawl rate limits. This ensures we uphold historical settings chosen by some site owners in scenarios of low search interest, preventing unnecessary bandwidth consumption by our crawlers.”
Simplifying Search Console
Streamlining the console by removing the tool reduces unnecessary clutter, enhancing its usability by eliminating less frequently used features. Consequently, this refinement aims to improve the overall user experience within the Search Console interface.
An alternative avenue remains available for publishers encountering ongoing challenges with Googlebot’s crawl rate: utilizing the Googlebot report form to provide direct feedback to Google. If navigating these changes proves perplexing or challenging, exploring our monthly SEO packages could offer assistance from experienced experts.