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Google is by far the internet's most popular search engine. Google operates many national editions of it's search engine in the local language. In many countries Google achieves no less then 50% market share. Although Google started as a research project by Stanford University students Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998, no webmaster can survive without.

Google's strength has always been it's simplicity, speed and accurate results. No visitor can get lost on Google's homepage with it's clear design. Even if new features and search options are added Google's interface is easy to use. Google's speed is unsurpassed. Google's accurate results are based on a patented algorithm: PageRankTM. PageRankTM (PR) is measure for web page popularity based on the number of hyperlinks pointing to that page. PR is the an important ingredient in Google's algo and probably the best known but it's certainly not the only one. There are a lot of other factors that influence rankings and a relevant page with fewer incoming hyperlinks will rank higher than a less relevant page with higher PR.

Google tries to update it's index once a month. Sometimes it takes a little longer to refresh it's over 3000 million pages and recalculate PR. Very often Google implements some algo changes as well which produce a different ranking order. This may cause pages or complete websites to disappear from the index.

Between the monthly updates Google tries to stay as up-to-date as possible. Google operates a different spider for this, better known as 'Freshbot'. Freshbot visits websites that refresh their content regularly such as news sites. Freshbot also discovers new sites by following hyperlinks. See also 'Google updates' on the righthand side of this page. Submitting your site to Google through Google's own submit-page doesn't harm your rankings, but your site will only be added to the index if it has at least one link pointing to it.

Google is at least as popular among 'search engine spammers': companies trying to "unfairly manipulate search engine results" with "overly aggressive marketing efforts" as Google puts it on their SEO page. Google makes short shrift with such websites. They are regularly downgraded in the results or removed from the index entirely. So be careful which SEO company to choose!

Google has a strange way of updating it's index. New pages and even new websites are discovered by a special spider called 'Freshbot'. Pages discovered by Google's Freshbot are included in the results pages but not in the main Google index. These fresh results usually disappear after a few days. It may take up to a couple of months before Google's normal crawler visits the site and includes the new pages in the main index. So Google may show new pages for a while and then drops them again. For it's monthly update Google doesn't always use the latest crawled data but an older version of it's index. Although the average user hardly notices anything of this, Google's update behaviour regularly causes panic among site owners and webmasters, especially when they think they've done something against Google's rules.