In a significant update, Google has announced that it will be removing the Crawl Rate Limiter Tool from its Search Console. This change is set to take place on January 8, 2024. The decision comes as Google’s crawling algorithms have improved significantly, making the tool unnecessary.
Understanding the Crawl Rate Limiter Tool
Introduced in 2008, the Crawl Rate Limiter Tool has been a part of the Search Console for fifteen years. Its primary function was to help website publishers manage how Google’s bots, known as Googlebot, crawl their sites. This was important to ensure that the crawling process did not overload the website’s server, potentially preventing it from serving web pages to users.
There was a time when excessive crawling by Googlebot caused issues for some publishers, leading to the introduction of this tool. It allowed publishers to limit the rate at which their sites were crawled, with changes typically taking about a day to implement and lasting for 90 days.
Why Is Google Removing the Tool?
Google’s decision to remove the tool is based on advancements in its crawling algorithms. These improvements mean that Googlebot can now automatically detect when a server is close to being overloaded and adjust its crawl rate accordingly. Additionally, Google noted that the tool was infrequently used, and when it was, the crawl rate was often set to the lowest setting.
With the removal of the tool, Google will set the default minimum crawl rate to a lower level, similar to what publishers previously requested. This approach aims to balance the need for efficient crawling with the need to avoid overloading servers.
Simplifying the Search Console
By removing the Crawl Rate Limiter Tool, Google aims to make the Search Console less complicated and more user-friendly. The removal of rarely used tools contributes to a cleaner, more streamlined interface, enhancing the overall user experience.
For publishers who continue to experience issues with Googlebot’s crawl rate, Google provides a Googlebot report form through which they can send feedback directly to Google.
This update reflects Google’s ongoing efforts to improve its services and adapt to technological advancements. The removal of the Crawl Rate Limiter Tool from the Search Console is a step towards a more efficient and user-friendly experience for website publishers.