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Googlebot Uses Only 15 MB of Content. What Does It Mean For SEO?

Googlebot Uses Only 15 Mb Of Content. What Does It Mean For SEO?

Googlebot — Google’s web crawler that indexes the whole of the web — uses only the first 15 MB of your pages HTML, the company confirmed recently. While it’s not a new practice, it’s the first time the search engine officially clarified it. But what does it mean for your site’s SEO?

Googlebot’s specifics

A document with detailed information about Googlebot’s inner workings appeared just recently, and many people immediately started panicking, thinking they’ll have to overhaul their whole site. Worry not: the new document doesn’t change much if your web designers have done everything by the book. But still, more information will help them even better optimize your site’s performance.

Here’s what Google says:

“Googlebot can crawl the first 15MB of an HTML file or supported text-based file. Any resources referenced in the HTML such as images, videos, CSS, and JavaScript are fetched separately. After the first 15MB of the file, Googlebot stops crawling and only considers the first 15MB of the file for indexing. The file size limit is applied on the uncompressed data. Other crawlers may have different limits.”

What it means for SEO from now on

Now that we know how Googlebot operates, we understand that all SEO elements and important content must be located near the top of your code (the first 15 MB). So, don’t panic: 15 MB is a lot, and SEO specialists have been urging us to have smaller pages for years. The previous recommendation was “keep your pages lighter than 100 KB,” and if you’ve been listening, nothing will change for you. But if you have a heavier page, Google might not index some of your content.

If you have loads of images, don’t fret: Google specifies 15 MB of HTML. Very reasonable: I don’t know when I last saw code that heavy.

Also, don’t forget that images shouldn’t be encoded into the HTML code whenever possible. Do everything to keep the code as light as possible. 

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