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• The frequency and amount of page updates is monitored and recorded as is number of pages.
Mass updates of hundreds of files will see you pop up on radar.
On other hand to few or to small updates to your site could see your rankings slide. Unless your CTR is good. A stale page that receives good traffic may hold it's own and not require an update. So don't update for sake of it.
Depending on your market fresh content may not be a requirement. If information your pages contain does not go out of date then updating may not be necessary. If your market is more news based for example then changes regularly are a must. In general changes don't necessarily have to mean fresh content. They could involve simple edits to current content.
A further indicator that Google is really cracking down on Spam is made clear in following extract from Patent. Mention is made of changing focus of multiple pages at once.
Here's quote - “A significant change over time in set of topics associated with a document may indicate that document has changed owners and previous document indicators, such as score, anchor text, etc., are no longer reliable.
Similarly, a spike in number of topics could indicate Spam. For example, if a particular document is associated with a set of one or more topics over what may be considered a ’stable’ period of time and then a (sudden) spike occurs in number of topics associated with document, this may be an indication that document has been taken over as a ‘doorway’ document.
Another indication may include sudden disappearance of original topics associated with document. If one or more of these situations are detected, then [Google] may reduce relative score of such documents and/or links, anchor text, or other data associated document.”
There's still more to look out for:-
• Changes in on page keyword density is monitored and recorded as are changes to anchor text.
• The domain name owner address is considered, most likely to help in a local search result.
• The technical and admin contact details are checked for consistency. These are often falsified for Spam domains.
• Your hosts IP address. If you are on a shared server it's possible somebody else on that server is using dirty tactics or Spaming. If so your site will suffer since you share same IP.
The impression I get here is that Google have learned from Spam attack they suffered in early 2004 and are determined to eradicate it.
So what do you do?
There's a lot to take onboard here and consider. But you can't go far wrong with your SEO if you try to grow your site as organically as possible. If you know what you're doing you can take short cuts. Carry on with link exchanges but consider each site carefully and slow down in your gathering of them. Vary your anchor text. Add small amounts of good quality content to your site regularly. Check your search engine listings and edit your site to include a call to action in them if possible. Make your site more 'sticky' to encourage visitors to stay a while. Encourage visitors to Bookmark your site. Oh and register new domain names for at least two years.
Before you do anything remember to reference above info first. It may just save you months of misery as your site gets banned and 'Sand boxed'.
Overall keep it ethical and you can't go wrong. Do not be tempted to Spam. Stick to guidelines above and you are much more likely to outlast and out rank your competition.
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