How to Read Your Webstats – Part 2 – Are the Search Engines Indexing Your Site

Yesterday’s article addressed the main question everyone wants to know regarding the website stats for their website – how many visitors did I have?  Today, let’s look at how many search engine spiders are visiting your site.

Yuck, spiders!

Actually these are good spiders.  The word spider just plays into the “web” terminology for the internet.  Search engine spiders go by other names too, such as crawlers and bots.  All search engine spiders are is an automated visit to your site by the search engines for the purpose of reviewing the content on your website.  If it is their first visit, they are going to gather as much as they can and try and figure out what the essense of your site is all about.  On follow up visits they are going to compare your site content to their last visit to see if anything has changed or has been added.  Frequent updates to your site tells the spider your site is active and as a result the spider will come back to your site more often since it knows you are changing content frequently.  The more spider activity on your site the better and over time it will allow content changes to your site to make it to the search listings faster.

Example webstat graph of spider activity for the month

Example webstat graph of spider activity for the month

The above graph is an example of what you might see for spider visits to your site for the current month.  Yahoo, MSN and Google are all regularly visiting this website – which is a good thing.  Yahoo in particular is visiting often.

The more information you have on your website, the better.  If you are concerned about your rankings in the search engines, reviewing spider activity on your site will give you an idea of the interest level from the search engines.  If you are not seeing rankings for your keywords but seeing alot of spider activity then you will want to know what the search engines are ranking for your site and determine if your message is off.  But don’t forget – time is your friend when it comes to search engine rankings and useful stat reporting.  If your site is new, even with alot of spider activity, it may take a few months for rankings to start improving and all the data to start correlating.

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