In This Chapter
• Update Your Site Frequently
• Should you add a discussion forum?
• Considering games and surveys
• Finding additional content for your site
• Weblogs as content management systems
With billions of pages in its index, Google can't refine its relevance formula on a daily basis. Instead, every few months Google does what insiders call a Google dance, where it adjusts how relevance scores are calculated and essentially modifies the results list for every search on the site.
The inevitable result of a Google dance is that some website owners complain that they have a noticeable drop in traffic while others exult that their websites have quite a bit more traffic than they're used to. Within a day of each dance web developers are trying to ascertain what changed in the formula so they can update their sites and improve their relevance scores.
Tip: The Google dance is a sporadic adjustment to the Google relevance formula that results in your pages being ranked higher or lower for specific keyword searches.
This entire approach is wrong, however, and illustrates the impossibility of trying to "figure out" and "trick" search engines. It's like a Cold War military exercise, with the search engine developers creating new formulas that promote legitimate sites to the top and the search engine optimizers trying to figure out the changes and devise new strategies to boost relevance scores. The losers in this exercise, of course, are both you as the website owner who has a business to run, and people who use search engines to find legitimate content on reputable websites.
The long-term goal of all the tweaks and modifications to the Google relevance score formula -- and, by extension, to the Yahoo search and MSN search relevance engines -- is to be able to identify real content and present it as the best possible match for any given search. This means that even if websites aren't ranked highly today, as time passes and analysis improves, sites with lots of good, relevant content will continue to move up and gain traffic and visitors.
This isn't to say that you shouldn't apply the techniques highlighted in this book to better your chances of being identified as high-quality content, but to emphasize that it's the content, your articles, information sheets, product literature, white papers, and even commentary on industry events that is so important.
Inside The Book