Frequently asked questions

Everything you need to know regarding general and technical questions about
Common Crawl.

General Questions

What is Common Crawl?
Common Crawl is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing a copy of the Internet to Internet researchers, companies and individuals at no cost for the purpose of research and analysis.
What can you do with Common Crawl data?
The possibilities are endless. People have used the data to improve language translation software, predict trends, track disease propagation, and much more.

The crawl data is stored on Amazon’s S3 service, allowing it to be bulk downloaded as well as directly accessed for Map-Reduce processing in EC2.
Can’t Google or Microsoft just do what Common Crawl does?
Our goal is to democratize the data so that everyone, not just big companies, can do high-quality research and analysis.
Under what terms is Common Crawl data released?
As strong believers in Open Data, we apply as few restrictions as possible to the dataset.

The terms we add (primarily in an effort to prevent abusive or illegal usage) are described on our
Terms of Use page.

Technical Questions

What is the Common Crawl CCBot crawler?
CCBot is a Nutch-based web crawler that makes use of the Apache Hadoop project.

We use Map-Reduce to process and extract crawl candidates from our crawl database.

This candidate list is sorted by host (domain name) and then distributed to a set of crawler servers.
How does the Common Crawl CCBot identify itself?
Our older bot identified itself with the User-agent string CCBot/1.0 (+, and the current version identifies itself as CCBot/2.0. We may increment the version number in the future.

Contact information (a link to the FAQs) is sent along with the User-agent string.
Will the Common Crawl CCBot make my website slow for other users?
The CCBot crawler has a number of algorithms designed to prevent undue load on web servers for a given domain.

We have taken great care to ensure that our crawler will never cause web servers to slow down or be inaccessible to other users.

The crawler uses an adaptive back-off algorithm that slows down requests to your website if your web server is responding with a HTTP 429 or 5xx status. By default our crawler waits few seconds before sending the next request to the same site.
How can I ask for a slower crawl if the Common Crawl CCBot is taking up too much bandwidth?
We obey the Crawl-delay parameter for robots.txt. By increasing that number, you will indicate to CCBot to slow down the rate of crawling.

For instance, to limit our crawler from request pages more than once every 2 seconds, add the following to your robots.txt file:
User-agent: CCBot
Crawl-delay: 2
How can I block the Common Crawl CCBot?
You configure your robots.txt file which uses the Robots Exclusion Protocol to block the crawler. Our bot’s exclusion User-agent string is: CCBot.

Add these lines to your robots.txt file and our crawler will stop crawling your website:
User-agent: CCBot
Disallow: /

We will periodically continue to check if the robots.txt file has been updated.

How can I ensure the Common Crawl CCBot can crawl my site effectively?
The crawler supports the Sitemap Protocol and utilizes any Sitemap announced in the robots.txt file.
Does the Common Crawl CCBot support conditional GET and/or compression?
We do support conditional GET requests. We also currently support the gzip and Brotli encoding formats.
Why is the Common Crawl CCBot crawling pages I don’t have links to?
The bot may have found your pages by following links from other sites.
What is the IP range of the Common Crawl CCBot?
Older versions used the IPs through The current version crawls from Amazon AWS.
Does the Common Crawl CCBot support nofollow?
We currently honor the nofollow attribute as it applies to links embedded on your site.

It should be noted that this attribute value is not meant for blocking access to content or preventing content to be indexed by search engines; instead, it is primarily used by site authors to prevent search engines such as Google from having the source page’s PageRank impact the PageRank of linked targets.

If we ever did ignore nofollow in the future, we would do so only for the purposes of link discovery and would never create any association between the discovered link and the source document.
Avatar photo

Need a more specific answer?

Can’t find the answer you’re looking for? Please chat to our friendly team.