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Traffic Report Tables
Row 18 - Visits from Spyders

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What Is A Spyder?
The proper spelling is "spider". I spell it Spyder because the "spy" part tells what Spiders actually do. They "spy" on your site. That is, they visit your site without your knowing it, and they gather information on about what is on your site - just like a spy would do.

For the purposes of the Internet, you recall that a Web site is called a Web site because it is on the World Wide Web, which of course, is taken from spider webs.

Spyders, also called "bots" which is short for robots, and "crawlers" do indeed "crawl" Web sites, but they do not "go out on the Web" to do their thing. The actual ranking is done back home in the Mother Ship. An over-simplified explanation is that if you could see Spyders in action as they crawl your site, they would look like a spell checker in a word processor.

The Spyders crawl every word in your site, follows its links, and otherwise gather a surprising amount of data about what is in your site. Once the data are gathered the Spyders take the data back to the "Mother Ship Computer". These are large computers, indeed some of the largest in the world. The data are stored here and then ranked as demand requires.

How Spyders Work In Ranking Your Site
When people use search engines they are actually accessing the data base the Spyders have built. Keywords entered in the engine are compared to what is in the data base. If your site best matches the keywords, that does NOT mean your site shows up Number One.

Once your site has been identified as a valid return under the keyword match, it is then "checked" for how popular it is. The search engine computers keep track of how many times a site is accessed because that determines how many people like it, or so goes the theory. The computers also keep track of other use parameters, like page views, time spent in the site, return visits, and other parameters that tell just how popular the site is.

Finally the most popular sites under the keywords are analyzed to see which sites are also paid sponsors. The most popular sites may, or may not be, paying for ads in the engines. If they are they are given a little more weight than those sites not paying.

Once all this data has been analyzed the search return pages are generated.  Your goal is to be somewhere in the first 30 returns. You do NOT need to be Number One. If you pay Big Bucks to a firm that is good in search engine optimizing, that is, getting your site high up in the ranks, they will tell you all they will guarantee your for your $5,000 is that you WILL show up somewhere in the top 30 returns under your chosen keywords.

The Future Of Spyders

As I write this in August of 2008 I wonder what future spyders will be capable of. They will become more powerful, more targeted for sure. All I can say is keep up on spyder developments.

Why Spyder Feeding Is Important
Look at the top ranking sites in the traffic reports. Look at the number of Spyder visits they get. Spyder visits run 20 to 30% of total site visits, which is why they get their own count. The more your site is used, the more times the Spyders will visit to see what is new, and to "see" why so many people are visiting.

"Feeding" the Spyders means that you put something new in your site, in the right spot, at the right time. You determine when to feed the Spyders by watching your traffic reports. You also feed the Spyders by adding new content that matches your prime keywords.

Spyder feeding is self-perpetuating. That is, the more Spyders visit your site and find what matches, the more they come back. Notice that the top ranked sites run at least 50 Spyder visits per day! Increased Spyder activity attracts more Spyders. Yes, it is just like a shark feeding frenzy. Spyders in action attract more Spyders.

Why You Do NOT Need To "Register" In The Search Engines
This is one of my pet peeves. There are firms who still tell their customers that they will "register their sites in the search engines" and then "re-register them every 90 days to keep the register fresh". The process of "registering" went out five years ago. I can't remember the last time I registered a Web site in the search engines. Spyders do it automatically - several times a day!

The Measure Of A Popular Site
If you want to know what the most popular site is under any given keywords, just go to Google and type in your keywords. Look at the top five sites. Then look to see if any of them are also paid sponsors. The ones that are NOT paid sponsors, but show up the highest, they are the most popular sites. Those are the sites you will compete with if you decide to play the search game.

Written August 2008 by Gary Cooley

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