We notice that there has been some significant activity over at Google towards the end of this week with regard to their webmaster facilities.
Most significant from an SEO point of view is the tweaks to the Google Webmaster Tools. The section dealing with the search engine crawlers has been upgraded to allow webmasters to have more control over the crawl rates. Google still recomend you select "Let Google determine my crawl rate" and leave it the bots determine how much the site needs to be visited however this facility will be extermely useful for webmasters. Should a site undergo an overhaul and require a large amount of Google cache updating this facility will allow a temporary in crawling.
According to a post on the official Google webmaster blog :
Googlebot employs sophisticated algorithms that determine how much to crawl each site it visits. For a vast majority of sites, it's probably best to choose the "Let Google determine my crawl rate" option, which is the default. However, if you're an advanced user or if you're facing bandwidth issues with your server, you can customize your crawl rate to the speed most optimal for your web server(s). The custom crawl rate option allows you to provide Googlebot insight to the maximum number of requests per second and the number of seconds between requests that you feel are best for your environment.
Googlebot determines the range of crawl rate values you'll have available in Webmaster Tools. This is based on our understanding of your server's capabilities. This range may vary from one site to another and across time based on several factors. Setting the crawl rate to a lower-than-default value may affect the coverage and freshness of your site in Google's search results. However, setting it to higher value than the default won't improve your coverage or ranking. If you do set a custom crawl rate, the new rate will be in effect for 90 days after which it resets to Google's recommended value.
The other change is that they have unveiled a revamped Google Webmaster Help forum for users to pose questions to Google experts and the internet community in general. According to Google this will "make it even easier to get you the right answers to your questions".
Would you like to know more about Google? If so, contact HitSearch, SEO and Google adWords qualified PPC specialists, on 0845 643 9289. Remember, its a big world out there, make sure you become visible.