Is The Googlebot In Hibernation?

It would certainly seem that way as crawl rates seem to have plummeted dramatically in recent months. I came across the problem when working on a scrap car website for one of my clients and noticed that the changes I had made were taking a ridiculously long time to index. This prompted me to look at some of my other sites and low and behold it was happening on some of them too.

The graph below is from webmaster tools and shows crawl rates from month to month. As you can see crawl rates have slowed down for some reason.

So why are crawl rates so slow recently? Google has not given any official line of the recent trend but after doing some research on the topic some people are suggesting that Google’s bots have become more efficient and there is no need for them to crawl as frequently. I am not sure if I buy into that but will be interesting to see what happens over the coming months.