Why Deprecation of the Crawl Rate Limiter Tool in Search Console is a Good Thing

The Crawl Rate Limiter Tool in Search Console has been a long-standing feature that allowed site owners to control the crawling speed of Googlebot. However, with advancements in crawling logic and the availability of alternative tools, its usefulness has diminished. As a result, Google has made the decision to deprecate the Crawl Rate Limiter Tool on Jan 8th, 2024. In this article, we will explore why this deprecation is a positive development for site owners and the overall crawling process.

Improved Crawling Efficiency:

One of the key reasons behind the deprecation of the Crawl Rate Limiter Tool is the significant improvements in Google’s automated crawl rate handling. Googlebot now reacts dynamically to server responses, adjusting its crawling speed based on factors such as HTTP status codes and response times. This automated approach ensures that Googlebot crawls websites at an optimal rate, effectively utilizing server resources and reducing unnecessary bandwidth consumption.

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Simplicity for Site Owners:

The Crawl Rate Limiter Tool, while providing some control over crawling speed, introduced complexity and potential misunderstandings for site owners. Many users were unaware that the tool could only decrease crawling speed and not increase it. Adjusting the tool incorrectly could inadvertently slow down crawling for a website. By deprecating the tool, Google simplifies the crawling process for site owners, eliminating the confusion surrounding the tool’s limitations and preventing unintentional negative impacts on crawling speed.

Honoring Past Settings:

Despite the deprecation of the Crawl Rate Limiter Tool, Google recognizes the importance of honoring past settings that site owners may have utilized. To ensure a smooth transition, Google will set the minimum crawling speed to a lower rate comparable to the old crawl rate limits. This means that the settings previously configured by site owners will continue to be effective, particularly for websites with low search interest. By maintaining these settings, Google ensures that site owners’ preferences are respected while optimizing the usage of server resources.

Alternative Solutions and Support:

While the Crawl Rate Limiter Tool provided a means of managing crawling speed, Google offers alternative solutions and support for site owners facing heavy crawling or unusual Googlebot activities. Site owners can refer to Google’s documentation, which provides guidance on optimizing server responses to instruct Googlebot effectively. Additionally, the Googlebot report form remains available for reporting unusual activities and emergency cases, ensuring that site owners can address any crawling-related issues promptly.

Conclusion:

The deprecation of the Crawl Rate Limiter Tool in Search Console is a positive step towards improving crawling efficiency and simplifying the user experience for site owners. With automated crawl rate handling and the availability of alternative solutions, Google can optimize crawling speed while minimizing unnecessary bandwidth usage. By honoring past settings and providing support through documentation and reporting mechanisms, site owners can effectively manage crawling and address any exceptional situations that may arise. Ultimately, this deprecation aligns with Google’s commitment to enhancing the crawling process and maintaining a robust ecosystem for both website owners and search engine users.

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