How Google's indexing and crawl rate limit impact your Shopify store's SEO

Every now and then I get asked why specific pages don't show up in Google.

Most of time this is because Google isn't visiting and indexing all of your product pages.

Each site has a limited crawl rate limit which are the number of pages Google will go through in a period of time.

When they crawl your store they keep track of how many pages they see. They follow links on pages but each link counts towards the limit. So if they only find links to half your products before they hit their limit, the others won't be indexed. Google might come back later and pick them up next time but that means other pages won't be crawled.

What ends up happening is that your lower-quality pages and pages that aren't linked to won't appear in the search results or get Rich Results.

The higher quality the content and the more external links to the site, the more crawling Google will do for you.

For example, my website has a crawl limit of 400 and since it has around 1,000 pages that means it might take 2-3 days before Google sees everything.

If you find your Shopify store is missing pages in Google I recommend two things:

  1. Check that you've recently submitted your Sitemap.xml to Google Search Console.

That'll include all of your products and might get some more of them crawled. It's really easy to do and can be very impactful after a redesign or other major overhaul.

  1. Work on your on-page SEO.

Specifically adding a) content to product pages and b) creating menu and collection links so that you only need 2-4 clicks from your homepage to get to the majority of your products.

This will be an ongoing thing but it can help all of your SEO and is one of those maintenance tasks you should be doing every month (or more often).

There's also a lot of articles published by other people on indexing, crawling, and link-depth that might give you some better recommendations. All of those are related and mean helping Google find your urls better.

And no, you don't need an app to help with indexing, sitemaps, or crawling. Shopify handles much of the technical parts and the rest comes down to a well-structured theme and site organization.

Another SEO feature that actually works well is structured data.

Mostly because the data helps Google's algorithm which makes their job easier.

You can either audit, code, and test your store's structured data by hand or install JSON-LD for SEO and have the structured data you need for several types of Rich Results.

It's already helped a few thousand Shopify stores with their structured data and it could help you too.

Eric Davis

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Topics: Indexing Google Google algorithm Seo Shopify seo

Would you like a daily tip about Shopify?

Each tip includes a way to improve your store: customer analysis, analytics, customer acquisition, CRO... plus plenty of puns and amazing alliterations.