[thelist] Search engine positioning, daily content

Peter Smulders schmolle at pobox.com
Tue Sep 23 09:28:56 CDT 2003

Hi all,

john at johnallsopp.co.uk wrote:
> ... that updating your website content regularly was a key to getting
> a good search engine position.
> Is the idea to submit to the search engines every day then, or is
> there some other magic that allows search engines to sense that
> you're updating every day?
> And even then, I still wouldn't understand why daily updates would
> make you appear higher up the list .. is there any reason for it?

The idea is NOT to resubmit regularly, let alone daily.

Google says[1] that you can (re)submit as much as you like, but it is 
not going to do you much good anyway.

Other sites may exclude you as a penalty. Check carefully.

Here is my idea of how and why this might work:

Search enginge spiders can very quickly determine when your pages have 
last been updated and compare that to the last time they visited. This 
is done by examining the headers they get from the web server, so 
without actually downloading the whole document. A straightforward 
application of the standard http protocol; nothing magic to it.

If your pages change often, it must mean that your content gets updated 
often. Note: this will not work on automatically generated pages/sites. 
I can only assume that spiders use a different logic for those sites.

When search results are returned with a 'relevance' or other specific 
way of ordering, there is a certain value associated with frequently 
updated pages, because they will have the more recent (and thus more up 
to date and thus 'better') information, which makes the serch look good.

Moral of the story: if you have to resort to tricks in the first place, 
you probably have already neglected your responsiblity for content.

These mechanisms are not without exceptions by far, but the whole search 
engine field is a lot of guesswork anyway; anything that helps towards 
more accurate search results counts for something.



[1] http://www.google.com/webmasters/1.html#A2

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