Apparently, the Google Bot is quite happy when your a website offers a constantly updating home page - to the tune of 1,000+ page hits per day! Catholic News Live has received an average of 13,000 page views per week from the Google Bot since it's launch two weeks ago... meaning it has had a field day updating content from the site, and finding stories from Catholic blogs and news sites. It seems the bot checks in at least once an hour.
What does this mean for you, lowly webmaster? Well, if you can get your feed on Catholic News Live, you can get the Google Bot to index an inbound link (which does NOT have any kind of rel="nofollow" attribute, so you get some link juice from Google) pretty much every time you post a story. That can be pretty valuable if you want your posts to show up on Google quickly!
(An aside – Link Juice, in case you were wondering, is what we refer to when talking about the whole idea of Google pagerank and inbound link 'votes' - Google uses inbound links from legitimate and established websites to determine whether your site (the site linked to) appears higher in its rankings for certain search terms. More on SEO to come - for now, do some Google searches on the topic...).
Two questions come to mind from this discovery:
1. How did Catholic News Live get indexed and revisited so much by the Google Bot so quickly?
The day I decided to push CNL out onto the Internet and publicly announce it, I put links up from Open Source Catholic, LifeisaPrayer.com, and LOLSaints, as well as from as many Twitter feeds as I could utilize (I help maintain at least five).
I also posted stories on MidwesternMac.com, Open Source Catholic, and Lifeisaprayer.com concerning the launch of the site, and left the site URL in a few comments concerning the Managing News system, as well as in bug reports on the Drupal website.
All these sites are indexed rather frequently by Google, so CNL was almost immediately put into the Google index. After that, you simply need to wait a little while until the Google Bot starts indexing your site regularly - the bot decides how often to visit your site based on how frequently the site is updated, and whether your site is responsive (good ping times and response times are essential!).
2. What kind of awesome sauce can CNL and sites like it spread?
Sites which aggregate other sites' news and postings should always link straight back to the source, and should never act as if the content is their own. To this extent, Catholic News Live only aggregates about 300 words of any given posting, and links straight out to whatever website the blog post is from, meaning users (and Google) is directed to the source.
Because the title of each posting links directly to the source website, Catholic News Live helps smaller Catholic blogs, news publications, and other sites to get their content indexed by the Google Bot more quickly, since the Google Bot sifts through CNL so often (more often than most other sites on which I've ever worked).
To get your site on CNL, visit the About section and read through the directions. We'd love to have you!
Help CNL Grow!
If you'd like to help with sorting news on CNL, or if you have any suggestions/corrections, let me know in the comments below.
*Link Juice image source: Power feast: 31 most basic SEO factors you can’t afford to overlook