Performing well in Google Search requires that your pages are adequately crawled and indexed. Because if a page isn’t crawled it can’t be indexed. And if it’s not indexed you’ll get zero traffic from search engines.
Log file analysis tools can help determine if you have an indexing issue and the cause of the problem. These tools give a better understanding of how Googlebot and other web crawlers interact with sites. They also provide valuable insights into the best SEO efforts and solve problems related to indexing and crawling.
Although there are quite a few solutions you can use for analyzing your website, some are more effective and popular than others. Here’s a list of the best log file analysis tools for SEO you can use at the moment.
Screaming Frog Log File Analyser
The Screaming Frog Log File Analyser is a powerful analysis tool that lets you identify technical SEO problems, upload log file data, and verify search engine bots. It also allows you to:
- Analyze search engine bot activity and data for SEO purposes
- Find out which search bots frequently crawl your website
- Discover all errors and broken links the bot hits when crawling your webpage
- Analyze the least and most crawled URLs to reduce loss and boost efficiency.
- Find pages that aren’t getting crawled
- Compare and combine any data, including directives, external link data, and more
- View the number of referer events for every URL
You get to use all the listed functions free of charge as long as you stay within the one project and 1,000-line log event limit. For unlimited access and technical support, you’ll need to get the paid version.
JetOctopus is one of the most affordable log analyzers out there. It comes with two-click integration, pre-set issue reports, and a seven-day free trial, no credit card required. Much like the other picks on this list, JetOctopus lets you identify crawl frequency, budget waste, most popular pages, and more.
The tool also offers something unique compared to the competition — it lets you combine log file data with Google Search Console data. The main goal of such a combination is to help you understand how the Googlebot interacts with your site and identify points for improvement.
Here’s a quick overview of other things you can expect from JetOctopus:
- A comprehensive log file management section that shows the crawling frequency and names of bots visiting your page.
- Regression data for indexable pages that provide high value to your SEO strategy.
- Insights analysis and interpretation through Yandex, Google, and Bing organic search data.
- Differentiation and identification of malicious, fake, and valid crawl bots.
- Filtering of slow, heavy, never-crawled, and non-indexable pages.
Oncrawl Log Analyzer
Made for medium to large websites, Oncrawl Log Analyzer handles over 500 million log lines a day. It analyzes your log files in real-time and ensures that your web pages are indexed and crawled appropriately. Even better, Oncrawl Log Analyzer is highly secure and GDPR compliant. Instead of storing IP addresses, the tool stocks every log file in a safe and isolated FTP cloud storage.
Oncrawl offers the same functionality as JetOctopus and Screaming Frog Log File Analyser and some extras such as:
- An FTP cloud storage that supports different log formats such as Nginx, Apache, and IIS
- Auto-scalable infrastructure that molds itself according to your processing power and storage limits
- Dynamic segmentation, which helps reveal trends and correlations by mapping your URLs and internal links into custom segments, subgroups, and strategic groups based on data points
- Translating your raw log files into actionable SEO reports based on data points
- A tech team to help automate and set up log file transfers to your FTP space
- The ability to monitor crawl bots from all major browsers, including Google, Bing, Yandex, and Baidu
The Log Analyzer is one of the three main products of the Oncrawl Insights suite designed for inspecting all online interactions. Let’s take a peek at the other two:
- Oncrawl SEO Crawler lets you crawl your website at scale. It gives users a better understanding of the relationship between ranking factors and SEO conversions.
- Oncrawl Data³ follows the SEO Crawler with cross-analysis from Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Majestic, and other connectors.
SEMrush Log File Analyzer
If you want a simple, browser-based log analysis tool, the SEMrush Log File Analyzer is a good choice. Unlike the other options on our list, this analyzer doesn’t require any downloads. All you have to do is:
- Log in or create an account on SEMrush.
- Download server log files from your website. You can do this by accessing your site’s server through an FTP client. Log files are usually in the “/access_log/” or “/logs/” folder.
- Upload the gathered log data to the SEMrush Log File Analyzer by dragging and dropping it into the Drag & Drop form. Make sure your files don’t contain any personal data.
- Hit “Start Log File Analyzer” to begin the process.
After a short pause, you’ll get two reports:
- Hits by Pages
- Googlebot Activity
Hits by Pages tells you how web crawlers are accessing your website’s content. You’ll see insights for specific pages and discover the folders and URLs that had the most or least interactions with bots.
On the other hand, the Googlebot Activity report gives you daily site-related insights such as:
- The types of crawled files
- The overall HTTP status code
- The number of requests that different bots make to your site
Google Search Console Crawl Stats
Finally, you can use Google Search Console log analysis. Google simplified things for the users by giving a useful overview of its own practices.
The process of using the console is simple. Follow the link above and select the right property. You’ll then see your crawl stats sorted into three main sections:
- Kilobytes downloaded per day, which shows how many kilobytes Googlebot downloads every time it visits your site.
- If your graph shows high averages, it means Googlebot crawls your site often. However, high levels can also indicate that Googlebot takes a long time to crawl your site. This may suggest that your site isn’t as lightweight as it should be.
- Pages crawled by day, which shows you how many pages Googlebot crawls per day. You can see your low, average, and high crawl amounts on the right side.
- If your crawl rate is low, your site isn’t getting a lot of attention from Googlebot. The lower your crawl rate, the lower your SERP ranking.
- If your crawl rate suddenly increases, you may have an issue. For instance, your robots.txt file allows bots to crawl all over your content. This could overload your server and make it difficult for people to use your site.
- Time spent downloading a page (in milliseconds), which tells you how long it takes for Googlebot to make HTTP requests for crawling your site.
- Low ratings are better in this section. The less time Googlebot spends downloading your pages, the faster indexing and crawling will be.
All the log file analysis tools on our list are designed to help you increase your SERP ranking and boost organic traffic. You only need to choose the one that suits your needs the best.
If you’re looking for a free and simple analysis tool that doesn’t require a download, you can try Google Search Console or SEMrush Log File Analyzer. On the other hand, if you want a full-suite log management solution, consider getting Screaming Frog Log File Analyser, JetOctopus, or Oncrawl Log Analyzer. Another option is to combine paid and free log file analysis tools to better understand the way search engine bots interact with your website.