Common Forum Questions & Answers:
A: The ‘Google Dance’ is what the monthly update is commonly called. It refers to the update process that is visible in the index. The update takes about a week to complete and during that time you will see the listings vary wildly from new data to old while positions will jump up and down (and sometimes completely out) in a SERP as well.
2) Q: When does Google update?
A: Google has a standard monthly update which generally occurs at the end of every month. The data for this update is gathered during the preceding weeks. Google has been known to delay updates (or process them sooner than expected) when the mood strikes. Chances are delays are due to new algorithms being implemented and tested.
3) Q: What is “Everflux, Freshbot, Freshcrawl”
A: Everflux is when the SERPs appear to change (sites move up and down) while the update is NOT in effect. This is brought about by the Freshbot (or Freshcrawl) and is Googles way of ensuring that their data is the ‘freshest’ on the web. When the phenomena first occurred it was identifiable by the word ‘Fresh!’ and a date appearing on the last line of your listing between the URL and the ‘Cached’ link. The addition of ‘Fresh!’ the word was misleading to the public at large as it appeared to be a comment on the quality of the data not the recency of the crawl (which was what it was) so the word was quickly removed but the date remains. When you see this date attached to your listing you know that it is the product of a ‘Fresh crawl’ or ‘Everflux’. What does this do for you? This enables Google to present the most recent version of your site in their listings and can cause your listing to move up or down in the SERPs. This is not a permanent change of your information within their database and if your site is not re-crawled by the ‘freshbot’ any changes associated with this crawl will fall out in approximately 48hrs. If your site is new to Google and is crawled by the ‘freshbot’ Note: there is no official bot called ‘freshbot’ it is a term used in forums to describe the googlebot that affects these specific changes within SERPs so don’t email them for information regarding the ‘freshbot’ as they will respond that it doesn’t exist! (because it doesn’t)
4) Q: When will Google spider my site and how can I tell?
Q: What is googlebot?
A: Googlebot (Google’s spider) finds sites by following links from other sites. The more links to your site they find the the chance of Googlebot finding you. They also follow links from their addurl form, but prefer to find links to you instead. You can check to see if/when Googlebot has visited by reviewing your site’s logs located on your server. When Googlebot visits you will see a reference to ‘The little robot that google.com sends out to spider website content GoogleBot’ or ‘crawler12.googlebot.com’ or something similar. They announce who they are. For more on locating and viewing your server logs you need to speak to your hosting company. Many common website statistics (site stats) programs will gather this information and present an easy to read report for you.
5) Q: What is PageRank?
A: PageRank is Google’s method of ranking web pages. Google basically counts the number of incoming links to your web PAGE and (considers various other factors) to determine the importance of your web page and where it should rank. Keep in mind that this is only one factor in ranking.
6) Q: Will Google index my (asp, php, html, xml, etc) site?
HyperText Markup Language (html, pdf, asp, jsp, hdml, shtml, xml, cfml)
Adobe Portable Document Format (pdf)
Adobe PostScript (ps)
Lotus 1-2-3 (wk1, wk2, wk3, wk4, wk5, wki, wks, wku)
Lotus WordPro (lwp)
Microsoft Excel (xls)
Microsoft PowerPoint (ppt)
Microsoft Word (doc)
Microsoft Works (wks, wps, wdb)
Microsoft Write (wri)
Rich Text Format (rtf)
Text (ans, txt)
7) Q: I reported spam I found in Google, why is it still there?
A: Google does not remove spam just because it was reported. They review the report as soon as they can to determine if it really is spam (imagine, what would you do if it was that easy and your competitor got you removed). If it is particularly bad they may manually remove the offensive site or page but they do try and avoid this when ever possible. If it is not then the site or page will most likely become test material for new filter tweaks. Google always prefer to adjust their filters and algorithms to catch spam.
[Common listing description questions]
– Can I change my description?
– What is my description?
– That’s not the description I wanted!
A: The description Google provides with your listing is comprised of what they call Snippets. Snippets are created by taking the searched term and pulling that, along with the surrounding text, from your text data on your page. This Snippet is variable and changes with the search term.
If your site/url has an ODP/DMOZ listing then Google will list the ODP description below the Snippet, indicated by the word ‘Description:’ preceding it. The only way to alter this is by getting your ODP description altered.
9) What are internal links, external links, backlinks?
A: Internal links are links to your own site from withing your own site. External links are links to your site from someone else’s site. Backlinks describes the links that Google shows as counting towards your site. Via the Google ToolBar there is a button that states “Backward Links” which when clicked is supposed to show you sites linking to the page your browser is currently viewing. Note that this button does not show all links indexed or credited to your site. Common belief is that it only shows links with a PR4 or above and that it also only shows 1/2 of the links credited to your site/page.
10) What do links have to do with Google?
A: Links, internal and external, help Googlebot find the pages within your site so that it can index them. Links also count, to various degrees depending on the link, towards your PageRank.
11) What is proxy.google.com ?
A: Google offers wireless services for several devices and go so far as to convert your html site for viewers using wireless appliances (such as cell phones and pda’s). Google Wireless, wireless user guide.