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On a related subject, I haven't heard any discussion recently on the frequency of Google spider visits. I don't check every day but it seems like every time I do the Googlebot has been there that day. Could it be possible that a frequently updated and modified web site gets visited more frequently than one that doesn't change? This would seem to contradict advise I've read suggesting that you not change what seems to be working.
Googlebot, unlike many of the SE who also claim to learn site update frequency, does indeed learn it. The rest seem to be "scheduled" refreshes. Googlebot is definitely sensitive to pages which are data driven and reflect changes quickly. I don't believe it is worth "playing with fire" which is what you are doing if you regularly modify a page **just** to induce indexing or trying to appear fresher to raise ranking.

If it is an index page which leverages internal linking structure then it may be worth inducing indexing of new content. However then the page has built in this function so the negatives are more easily controlled. You are actually modifying the page for a reason other than to induce or raise relevancy. You are providing a more user friendly environment which is always the best reason to do anything.

IMHO, the most important page in any directory is the default page. If you want to know why request a directory without a default page and see what the result is. Unix provides a list of contents if it isn't set up properly and NT will deliver a page configured in the set up or the woeful "forbidden" error. None of these are user friendly or of much use. I may be the exception but this is something I frequently do if I want to find related material.

IMHO, these are also favorites of sites linking to you because these "indexing pages" can be easily targeted by subject. This also encourages better text in the links because they can link to a topic specific index. IMHO, the best description is the subject. Many will also use titles or descriptions from your page as comments for the link text as well providing another means of controlling link text and text in the proximity of the link. When all of these are used then you have got one killer link depending on the quality of the site linking to it.

Good websites regularly add new content or update content so it makes sense for any engine to be sensitive to updating frequency. It provides a fresher set of results and can indicate site quality.

The site in my sig wasn't updated for years Google knew about it but slowly dropped pages until eventually it was only indexing 2 pages. I started updating the site and it is now indexing most of the old pages. Problem is Googlebot doesn't index the new content so there is a lesson there as well.

As to the marble theory I would concur, with Detlev it is a nice image, but I agree with Lee because of fragmented link popularity and leveraging internal link structure. I would use indexes containing "indexing pages" for each color of marble. I also believe "mini sites" are just playing with fire because of the crosslinking fiascos they can cause. In many cases you are just one crosslink away from a "bad neighborhood" and from my experience it may not show up as a grey line in the Google toolbar or low PR. It may just penalize the site that mistakenly cross linked sites they thought were related. IMHO, it doesn't matter what you think is related Googlebot has the last say and it isn't necessarily based on sound reasons, it is about what intent is indicated in the analysis it does for links. In other words if it looks like you were manipulating link popularity not providing a path to more relevant material.

Crosslinking sites, particularly those on the same network definitely raises a spam flag. The degree of the penalty is probably tied directly to the degree of non relevancy or the intent. If you have 4 or five of these "mini sites" I'm sure the intent is pretty clear to Google!

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