The Hungry Little Spider
By Scottie Claiborne© 2004
Once upon a time, in a land called WWWebdom, there lived a little spider. It was a hungry little spider and it liked to munch up web pages and then keep track of which ones it liked best, so it could tell other people just how good they were.
The little spider never ran out of pages to munch because each page told the spider where to find other yummy pages (links). When lots of pages pointed him to one page, he usually found that page to be very tasty. Also, the more links he found to a specific page, the easier it was to remember it to tell others about.
*Incoming links are important to get your site found and ranked well.
Sometimes people tried to tell the spider which pages they wanted him to try and every so often, he'd check out some of the invitations he received. Usually, those pages weren't attached to any other pages, so the spider would be bored and forget they were there.
*Submitting your site to the search engines doesn't do much good without incoming links.
The spider enjoyed munching all types of pages, but some pages just tasted better than others. When he encountered pages that tried to make him eat a cookie and he refused those. He was on a diet and only ate yummy text.
Sometimes the pages seemed to recreate themselves over and over and they all tasted the same. Blech. Before he knew it, the spider would realize he was full of these repeating pages, so he would just stop and go home. The spider avoided the pages that had session ids all over them and never came back.
*Technical issues like forced cookies and session ID's will prevent your site from being indexed.
Some pages the spider munched on were very sparse. They were filled with fatty images and other things he couldn't eat, like Flash desserts. With only a little text on them, they didn't satify his hunger and he wasn't really sure if they tasted good or not. He didn't return to those pages very often.
The little spider loved big meaty pages with lots and lots of words. He really liked the ones that were well spiced with keyword phrases- it was easy to remember those pages and recommend them to his friends when they asked for a specific phrase.
*Get some real text on your pages and slim down on images. Use your targeted keyword phrases naturally throughout the copy.
Some pages were TOO spicy and the spider didn't like that at all. Especially when he hit a whole pocket of spice that he hadn't expected to be there. He also didn't like ordering one page, but being served another. Whenever he found out that was happening, he never returned to that page.
*Using tricks like keyword stuffing and cloaking can get your site banned by the search engines.
He loved the pages that were always changing a little- they were his favorite. He'd stop by to snack on those pages often. He liked the pages that stayed the same too- he just didn't stop by as often. He preferred to spend his time sampling new or different pages.
*Search engines like fresh, new content. If your content hasn't changed, there's no reason for the spider to index the page again.
If he was really stuffed, sometimes he'd just order up the page titles and see what was available, making notes about the flavor of each page and whether he'd like to come back later when he was hungry and eat the whole thing.
*Partial indexing is typically nothing to worry about. Eventually, the page will be indexed, if there are no technical issues.
The spider had several spider friends who all liked the same thing and over time, there were more and more. They hoped one day, to eat every single page in WWWebdom and worked hard to make it come true.
The End. ;-)
Scottie Claiborne is the Web Marketing Strategist for The Karcher Group and the facilitator of the Successful Sites Newsletter. She is a speaker at the Search Engine Strategies conferences and the High Rankings Seminars as well as the administrator of the High Rankings Forum.
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