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What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
SEO is improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site or page from the search engines using natural organic and algorithmic search results (SERPs).

SEO is actually a component of SEM (Search Engine Marketing). Which encompasses many avenues with which to promote a web site or page.
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August 10, 2007

Freshest Google Results - How to be the Most Recent Results

Google has been diligently working for "a fresher index" as they say. The direct result of this is, now the last crawl date/time elapsed is displayed in the last line of the listing. It does NOT change the order of results, at least in the sense of page listing order. I do suspect that a end user viewing the #1 & #2 SERPs, may very well be inclined to visit the "freshest" result. This will obviously be more important for some keywords and vertical subjects that others. Users have been inundated with lousy, old, out of date, improperly loading dead pages in the top results for years. I think they will quite readily pick up the change and use it. However, I think this will require some behavior and process changes by enterprising webmasters.

I was unable to check this out myself, as my data center is not updated yet. So here is an example from the Official Google Blog.

Click to View a Larger Image

Google's New FRESH by Date!

So if we are to be the "Freshest" results, there are some tasks to be accomplished. No, I'm not suggesting breaking out with the Google Crawl call. Seriously, though there are some things that can be done to embrace this.

  1. Update your sitemaps religiously! I use a nice service that crawls and rewrites my sitemap every 10-14 days....Then pings Google! I can also manually start this feature, if for example, I notice I am not the freshest result for a certain query.
  2. Revisit your robots Meta tag, I suspect you may want to crank up the crawl frequency a bit. It has always been good practice not to strain GoogleBot with unnecessary crawls, but then again they have never published crawl dates before. If Google crawling ability gets strained, then they will have to step up and deliver for the "freshest" index. Note...The supplemental pages crawls should not be affected, as they are supposedly crawls by a different bot. Not that it matters, Google already crawls them quite infrequently and ineffectively.
  3. Automatically generated feeds are clearly going to perform well, as they are the most "fresh" information on the net. So if your don't have one, maybe you should get one.
  4. Frequently updated Blogs will also do quite well, so it makes sense to house it on your Domain or reference the main site by a link in every page. Unless you only want searchers to visit your Blog.
  5. Getting crawled is note enough if Google cannot crawl you properly. Have a good hard look at your click though, navigation, and internal linking. A html sitemap is a great, easy way to accomplish much of this....Just link it in the footer of your pages.
  6. Make sure you are blocking pages you don't want crawled in your robots.txt, to lighten GoogleBots load. Get your sitemap link in your robots.txt, if you haven't already.
  7. Split your sitemap for sites over 50,000 pages according to Google, but I suspect one would split the map at a much lower number of URLs to ensure a full crawl. Sitemaps cannot be over 10mb.

So, I would consider implementing some measure of concern for the "fresh" indicator. Sites with news for example might want to generate a new sitemap...........OH my...Even daily? Lets face it, you Google Search for news, which result will you chose? The oldest........I think not.

Comments as always are welcome. If your comment is relevant and helpful, I will edit the post and credit you.

Peace and SEO

Melanie Prough

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