There is a fun new Google Search Off the Record podcast to listen to with John Mueller and Gary Illyes from the Google Search team. The short is that quality impacts everything related to Google's search systems, from sitemaps, crawling, indexing, ranking and more. But they also go into large and old sites that may have had quality issues in the past or the quality bar is higher now than what it was 20 years ago.
Here is the embed, I recommend you listen to it fully:
Gary Illyes said that quality "affects pretty much everything that the Search systems do." He listed off sitemaps, scheduling, crawling, indexing and ranking at a higher level. And he said, "of course, different systems are affected differently" by quality but that is obvious.
One example is Google will crawl by priority, normally the highest quality first. John then shared something he looked about 20 years ago, prior to him joining Google. He said, "Back before I joined Google, I would create test sites to try things out." " I made one site where I added, I don't know, a couple hundred links to new pages on there. And when Google, Googlebot, Google whatever, all of these Google systems back then, it was one big thing, or at least to me, when Google discovered all of these links, it crawled them in alphabetical order." Google does not crawl like that anymore, not by alphabetical order. Or maybe they never did but that is what John noticed ages ago.
Also, Google can learn which sections of your site are lower...
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