Matt Cutts of Google has published six videos where he speaks on SEO from Google's perspective (well his own but he works there). He gives some interesting insights and offers a few recommendations. Most of the recommendations we know about but it is good to hear them from the horse's mouth.
I've recently set up a cron job to run the Google Sitemaps Python Script automatically each day. This automatically notifies Google of any changes to the site. I've found that new pages are being indexed very quickly.
Google’s patent filing started the inevitable process of Google being more transparent in the way it conducts its business. Slowly but surely Google is beginning to help web developers to produce sites that help Google to do its job, namely indexing the internet. The Google Sitemaps site describes clearly what Google would like you to do. After modifying a config file, a bit of root access and a cron job you can be there in minutes.