How often does a search engine crawl a website?

Even quite small websites might be crawled daily, but maybe only a few pages at a time. High usage sites like the BBC may have frequently changing pages being crawled fairly continuously.

How long does it take to get into a search engine index?

In accordance with the principles of trying to return the best possible result for their visitors, the search engines will be aiming to get websites indexed in as close to real time as possible. Big sites like BBC News and Twitter will have nearly real-time indexing whilst the rest of us may have to wait a few days.

How often do search engines change their analysis algorithms?

If you reckon that the search engines change their analysis algorithms daily, you won’t be far wide of the mark. They are in a highly competitive and valuable market so this is to be expected.

Is Google PageRank important?

Not as much as it was. See the page about links.

How often should I review my website?

The drivers for a major review are changes in:

  • technology – witness the rapid development of tablet computers and mobile devices;
  • what the search engines look for – or indeed new search engines entering the market;
  • competitors who have changed their website and/or marketing strategy;
  • visitor expectations.

Routine checks should be done for:

  • broken links;
  • time-expired offers, events etc.

What is cybersquatting and how do you prevent it?

This is the practice whereby a competitor registers the same domain name as yours but with a different ending and points this domain at their website.

This means that if you have registered (say) a .co.uk domain name and your competitor then registers the .com name, you could end up disadvantaged.

If someone cybersquats your website and you are in the same jurisdiction you may be able to take legal remedies. However as the owner of a small enterprise, you probably don’t have the time and money to do this except in extremis, so it’s best to take preventative measures and register your domains with as many of the different endings as seems sensible. In practice for a UK business this means the .co.uk and .com versions, whereas an Australian business might want to register .com.au, .com, .co.nz and .co.uk depending on their anticipated markets.

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