Google has limited time and resources to fulfill their mission of organizing the world’s information to make it universally accessible and useful. One of the consequences of these limitations is they are only able to crawl a fraction of large, enterprise websites. As we have discussed in our post on crawl budget, enterprise webmasters must prioritize technical SEO in order to ensure Google is frequently crawling their most important traffic and revenue-driving pages.
This article provides an introduction to log file analysis, a task allowing marketers to study how Google interacts with their websites in order to inform changes for technical SEO.
What is log file analysis?
For technical SEO purposes, a log file is a collection of server data from a given period of time showing requests to your webpages from humans and search engines. Marketers analyze the data from these log files in order to understand, for example, how their website is being crawled by Google’s bots. The insights from this data can be used to resolve bugs, errors, or hacks that are negatively impacting how Google is discovering, understanding, and adding your content to search results.
What technical SEO insights come from log file analysis?
Log file analysis yields answers to important technical SEO questions such as whether:
- crawl budget is being used efficiently
- certain pages are being crawled more often than others
- Google is unaware of certain areas or pages on a website
- Google is facing accessibility issues on certain areas of a website
- Google is visiting your site frequently or infrequently
In short, log file analysis is one of the first steps towards helping search engines index and rank your website better.
If you are looking for solutions that address recommendations from log file analysis, check out our technical SEO software platform here.