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An SEO Quick
Tip: Spider Food Previously published in the April
28th, 2004 Weekly Step Forth
Search engine spiders are perhaps the closest thing to a virtual
life form the planet has every seen. Racing around on fiber cables
like the electrical impulses in your brain, recording everything
they see, these systems behave very similarly to the way we think.
Think of the websites that you visit the most often, ones that
you went to once and just new you’d want to visit again and so you
added it to your favorites. What was it about these sites that made
you want to go back. Generally speaking the sites that are most
revisited are those with varying content of interest to the visitor.
Personalized news sites make very popular homepages. Why? Because
you will get new information of interest to you every day. But what
if they stopped providing new information? You might keep it as your
home page for a few days but after a while you’d stop going back.
Search engines act the same, the more frequently you add new
content, the more frequently they will visit your website.
Making changes two your website will serve two main
Repeat visitors – assuming that you have a
well designed site with useful content, periodically updating your
website will give visitors a reason to return. Perhaps not on your
site the frequency with which it is updated. Or allow people to
subscribe for updates when new information is added.
Repeat visits from the search engines – the
more often you make changes to your website the more often the
search engines will spider your site. This is important for a
couple reasons. First, if you make changes often you will have
more content and fresher content to rank well for. This means that
you will be able to rank well for a larger variety of terms and
also rank for phrases that are current. Another big advantage to
frequent spidering is that when the search engines change their
algorithms (and they will) and if your site drops a bit in the
rankings, you will have the search engines visiting often and
thus, and changes you make to your site to counter these drops
will be picked up much faster.
The more pages you can rank your site well for the better. The
continuous addition of fresh content will help you rank for a larger
number of terms and also help you rank higher for your focused
The more frequently your site gets spidered the faster you will
be able to react to changes in the search engine rankings. Any day
you are in a reduced position is costing you money. The faster you
can react the faster you can get your rankings back the more money
you will make.
So feed the spider. Add
weekly articles, add a blog, add specials,
add anything useful. Just keep your content fresh and they will
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