I have noticed a drop of Googles crawl frequency recently so thought I would use this month to test a theory based on Googles own recommendation that a popular website will get crawled more often.
So, this strategy was rough and ready, lets buy some traffic from Fiverr and see if this can influence the Googlebot to visit the website more often and get some much-needed pages refreshed.
The CTR Test In More Detail
I searched through the Fiverr offerings and eventually found a service that came with many positive reviews. It stated that all visits would be done by real humans and the majority would be UK based, as this is where the website’s main customer base would be. It was labelled as Click Through Rate Manipulation (CTR), this is normally used by SEOs to increase rankings, but this exercise was to improve the crawl quota only.
The downside to this service was that no visitor metrics would be promised. The so-called real visitors would come to the site, but what they did after that was up to them. Some may stay and increase retention time, but others may choose to just click away.
Traffic would come from several sources, not just google, I could only choose 5 landing pages, with 2 different search terms per page.
I won’t mention the price, but it was cheap and cheerful and the whole point of the exercise was to push the knowledge to what can be done.
The Final Crawl Quote Experiment Results
The bottom line was, no improvement or decrease in Googlebot visits were recorded. Google crawling remained low, but still at a steady rate that matched performance before. Google’s impression of the word “Popular”, clearly revolves around positive visitor metrics, not CTR or the number of visits, in my opinion of course.
Traffic has come from Google, but with Reddit, twitter and Bing combined. The visitor metrics were awful, in fact in some cases I did doubt that humans had visited the site every time, as retention times were just too fast in too many cases.
Very little of this traffic was captured with the Search Console, but it was captured within Google analytics, which may be an indication here for future experiments. Does the search console only record positive visits? Far more traffic came from foreign countries than the UK, so the Fiverr service description Was not accurate. But at the price I paid, it is not worth the effort to get a refund, but rather just learn the lesson.
The website niche was very specific to a certain trade that only a few people would be interested in, so asking strangers to visit and be interested in the online content was wishful thinking also. Anyway, on to the next test.