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20 of Google’s limits you may not know exist
Don't get caught off guard by limitations you weren't aware of! Columnist Patrick Stox shares 20 Google limitations that may impact SEO efforts.
Google has a lot of different tools, and while they handle massive amounts of data, even Google has its limits. Here are some of the limits you may eventually run into.
1. 1,000 properties in Google Search Console
Per Google’s Search Console Help documentation, “You can add up to 1,000 properties (websites or mobile apps) to your Search Console account.”
2. 1,000 rows in Google Search Console
Many of the data reports within Google Search Console are limited to 1,000 rows in the interface, but you can usually download more. That’s not true of all of the reports, however (like the HTML improvements section, which doesn’t seem to have that limit).
3. Google Search Console will show up to 200 site maps
The limit for the number submitted is higher, but you will only be shown 200. Each of those could be an index file as well, which seems to have a display limit of 400 site maps in each. You could technically add each page of a website in its own site map file and bundle those into site map index files and be able to see the individual indexation of 80,000 pages in each property… not that I recommend this.
4. Disavow file size has a limit of 2MB and 100,000 URLs
According to Search Engine Roundtable, this is one of the errors that you can receive when submitting a disavow file.
5. Render in Google Search Console cuts off at 10,000 pixels
Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller had mentioned that there was a cutoff for the “Fetch as Google” feature, and it looks like that cutoff is 10,000 pixels, based on testing.
6. Google My Business allows 100 characters in a business name
7. 10 million hits per month per property in GA (Google Analytics)
Once you’ve reached this limit, you’ll either be sampled or have to upgrade.
8. Robots.txt max size is 500KB
As stated on Google’s Robots.txt Specifications page, “A maximum file size may be enforced per crawler. Content which is after the maximum file size may be ignored. Google currently enforces a size limit of 500 kilobytes (KB).”
9. Sitemaps are limited to 50MB (uncompressed) and 50,000 URLs
All formats limit a single sitemap to 50MB (uncompressed) and 50,000 URLs. If you have a larger file or more URLs, you will have to break it into multiple sitemaps. You can optionally create a sitemap index file (a file that points to a list of sitemaps) and submit that single index file to Google. You can submit multiple sitemaps and/or sitemap index files to Google.
10. Keep URLs to 2,083 or fewer characters
While Google doesn’t have a limit, you probably shouldn’t go over Internet Explorer’s limit of 2,083 characters in the URL.
11. Google’s crawl limit per page is a couple hundred MBs
That is according to Google’s John Mueller and represents a significant jump from the 10MB limit in 2015.
12. Keep the number of links on a page to a few thousand at most
While Google doesn’t have a hard limit on the number of links per page, they do recommend keeping it to “a reasonable number,” clarifying that this number is “a few thousand at most.”
13. 5 redirect hops at one time
Google’s John Mueller has said that Googlebot will follow up to five redirects at the same time. I don’t know if anyone has ever looked into the total number Google will follow. I did a little digging in Google Search Console and found one page still showing links as “via intermediate links” with a 10-hop chain. Yes, the original still showed in that case, but I also found some others that were cut off at six hops, even though they had more in the chain. I would say keep it to as few as you can, just in case.
14. No limit on word count on a page
It’s often recommended to keep it to 250 words, but there’s really no limit.
15. Google search limits to 32 words
Fun fact: Each word is also limited to 128 characters.
16. 16 words on alt text
While there’s not really a limit per se, this test is still live, and only the first 16 seem to count.
17. There is no limit to how many times a site can show on first page
That’s right, one domain can take the entire page if it’s relevant enough. Just check out the example below:
18. YouTube maximum upload size is 128 GB or 12 hours
Per the YouTube Help documentation:
The maximum file size that you can upload is 128 GB or 12 hours, whichever is less. We’ve changed the limits on uploads in the past, so you may see older videos that are longer than 12 hours.
19. Google Keyword Planner limits you to 700
You are limited to 700 keywords in Keyword Ideas. This is also the limit when uploading a file to get search volume and trends, but you can upload 3,000 keywords at a time to the forecaster.
20. YouTube’s counter limit
YouTube’s counter used to be a 32-bit integer, limiting the possible video views it would show to a little over 2 billion (2,147,483,647). YouTube now uses a 64-bit integer, which can show ~9.22 quintillion views (9,223,372,036,854,775,808).
Anyone else run into other limits they’d like to share? Message me on Twitter and let me know about them!
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.