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How does Stack Overflow work so well with search engines? It's really amazing--if I post a question, within 15-30 minutes it'll show up in Google's search results!

What are the tricks? sitemap.xml? Or, any other good methods?

Help me, and others too, if anyone knows a good technique/method.

(wowo !!! this question show up in Google with in 45 minutes )

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jul 26 '09 at 13:37

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+1 - I've noticed this too... great question. –  James Skidmore Jul 26 '09 at 6:43
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Just waiting to see how long it takes for this question to show up in Google... –  James Skidmore Jul 26 '09 at 6:45
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Jon Skeet (meta.stackexchange.com/questions/9134/jon-skeet-facts/9689#9689) works at Google ... –  Thilo Jul 26 '09 at 6:56
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@Thilo I hope that explanation is a joke –  Ian Elliott Jul 26 '09 at 20:33
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@JonSkeet this month's cheque is in the mail. OOPS DID I SAY THAT OUT LOUD!! –  Jeff Atwood Jul 31 '09 at 9:12
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Is this an example of a duplicate that should be closed to keep the older? meta.stackexchange.com/questions/14056/seo-in-stackoverflow –  Cawas Mar 12 '10 at 19:57
    
I notice that if I am logged into Google, results from SO are rated highly. If I am NOT logged into Google, results from SO are not always rated as high. –  Stefan Lasiewski Jul 12 '10 at 17:24
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If you're logged into Google, it considers your previous searches and guesses what you want to see. –  xpda Aug 30 '11 at 14:32
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4 Answers

I believe they don't do anything specific. Instead, they managed to get into a list of high-ranked relevant sites which get polled by Google frequently.

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That's correct, the higher the page rank the more frequently the site is crawled. –  CptSkippy Jul 26 '09 at 6:49
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Many people link to the site, it's high-traffic, highly relevant, highly targeted, well marked up, and the site is crawled very often. That's about as good as you can hope for. –  Gabriel Hurley Jul 26 '09 at 8:19
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Not fully correct, they have a sitemap.xml which includes every question for example. –  gs Jul 26 '09 at 8:20
    
@gs : i checked for the sitemap.xml file but it is not present at the root path. but i think there should be a chance to locate sitemap in another localtion, and they will submit the sitemap in direct ping method to the search engine. what you think ? –  midhund Jul 26 '09 at 8:40
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According to the stackoverflow.com/robots.txt it should be there. Maybe it is restricted to google bots only (by IPs or user-agent or something)? –  Ivan Dubrov Jul 26 '09 at 9:07
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It's probably restricted, that's going to be a huge map, and they probably don't want anybody doesn't actually need it to use it. It's also worth noting that googlebot will ignore many of the rules that other crawler bots follow. –  Sneakyness Jul 26 '09 at 10:30
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Sorry, this is not a helpful answer. Fair enough there is no secret magic SEO bullet, but they do tons of specific things which help people find great info easily, and as a by-product, help the site to rank well with search engines. And to make out like there is some single super exclusive 'list of high-ranked relevant sites...' is a massive over simplification. See Google SEO Overview ( google.com/support/webmasters/bin/…) and Google WebMaster Guidelines (google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35769) for more info. –  David HAust Jul 27 '09 at 6:51
    
Hey @David that's sweet. I still wonder what are those "specific things" actually applied here on SO, tho. –  Cawas Mar 12 '10 at 18:14
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The best things you can do are to keep your website relevant, simple, and neat.

Do you see a list of meta-tagged keywords in this website's source? Nope.

Look at the website visually. It's easy to read, easy to understand.

Look at the website's code, it's just as easy to read and understand.

Feeds also help, there's one for every question.

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If you do these things right, and hold a reputation for being good for whatever your website is, people will talk about it, people will link it. –  Sneakyness Jul 26 '09 at 7:12
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Google makes use of atom/rss feeds. It polls them frequently to find new material. Google throttles their bandwidth spent per day spidering sites, so you benefit from telling google as much as possible with as few bytes as possible.

As you can see, almost every page has an link rel=alternate feed url.

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You can inform google of an update to the xml feed, using http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/ping?sitemap=SITEMAP_URL, which is what All-in-one-SEO-pack for Wordpress does, for example.

I don't know if SO even needs to do this but I'm sure they could if Google wasn't spidering them often enough.

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Link down...... –  Pacerier Mar 9 at 14:23
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