Featured RSS Underground Sitemaps Article
Google Sitemaps :: Are They Or Aren't They Lucrative SEO Tools?
Google has had a feature out for some time which allows webmasters to create a sitemap file to help Google's crawlers find and index content.
It sounds like a great idea. After all, it's much easier to feed the crawler the content then hope it finds it on it's own.
But is a Google sitemap worthwhile? Is it even necessary?
When the Google Sitemap program first started my thought was "That's kinda cool but what's the real benefit?"
So, I thought I'd try it out and submit sitemaps for a few sites that I own.
When Google Sitemaps first came out it was very difficult to figure out what all the entries meant as well as how to actually create the sitemap.
Sure, it was XML based, and I could plainly see what they expected but when you have a large site, how do you go about creating this?
Then Google came out with http://www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/docs/en/sitemap-generator.html, a sitemap generator which is a program intended to help you create a sitemap for your site. This does help speed up the process but unless you are a developer it is a little difficult to implement.
Also, you need access to your server to run the script required to generate the sitemap. If you are unsure you should check with your web host to see if you have terminal access to execute Python scripts.
Personally, I've never tried the Google Sitemapper tool but I have used others. For example, on my personal weblog which uses Moveable Type, I found a weblog post which shows How to build a Movable Type Google sitemap template http://www.niallkennedy.com/blog/archives/2005/06/google_sitemaps.html. And I've used Xenu and an Excel spreadsheet http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?p=199253 which works great as well.
Now that the sitemap creation is covered, let's get into the question at hand. Is a Google sitemap really worth the effort?
A few months ago I would have said no, but lately Google has been adding features that make me think otherwise.
For example, if you've gone through the verification process (which is really just placing a blank HTML file on the site and having Google find it) and ensured your 404 errors are properly configured you can get access to a wealth of additional intel.
One such feature is the "Top Search Queries." This tells you which queries were used when your pages appeared in the search results but may not have been clicked on.
In other words, these are actual searcher queries that were performed on Google where your site may have appeared but not had click-through's.
From a keyword research point of view, this is a huge advantage to you. By monitoring your sitemap stats you can easily see some of the terms people are using and perhaps determine what you need to do to rank higher for those terms so you too can get the clicks that your competitors are receiving.
If you don't have ready access to log analysis or other stats, the Google sitemap can also tell you what terms actually drove traffic to your site.
In other words, these were searches performed on Google that actually generated clicks for your site.
There's also a wealth of other information. For example, "Crawl Stats" shows you how Googlebot sees your site, errors generated by it, and even a PageRank distribution chart detailing how well PageRank is distributed.
So, if you are like me and wondering if a Google sitemap is worth it I'd say yes, it is. The information provided, while mostly technical, can help you troubleshoot problems as well as provide ideas to help you improve your positioning.
RSS Underground Featured Article Author Box
Rob Sullivan is a SEO Consultant and Writer for http://www.textlinkbrokers.com. Textlinkbrokers is a link building company. Please provide a link directly to Textlinkbrokers when syndicating this article.
Google Sitemaps - How important are they?
There is no denying that Google is the king of the hill when it comes to search engines. A fairly decent page ranking in Google is worth so much more than a better showing in other less prominent search engines. The reason for this is the overwhelming popularity of Google. A vast majority of internet users use Google's services in looking for quality content on the internet. With the large number of people using it, a high page rank acts a great advertising opportunity for your web site.
Because of the astounding amount of web sites that submit their web pages to Google, the think tanks at Google decided to come out with Google Sitemaps. This service, which was started in June 2005, makes web page submissions to Google much easier but with the added bonus of getting detailed reports regarding the submitted page's visibility in Google. With Google Sitemaps webmasters can continually inform Google about their web pages as well as any changes that they make to help improve their standing in Google. This program serves as complementary service to Google's regular crawl, although it is considered that using Google Sitemaps can do a better job than the regular crawl.
Google decided to come out with the Google Sitemaps program as a way for the search engine to offer better search results to its users. With the current limitations of web crawling, usually not all pages are discovered. It is also difficult to determine if a page has changed. With so many uncontrollable variables, crawlers sometimes just make guesses. With Google Sitemaps it becomes easier to get a better picture of all the possible URLs in a web site as well as the frequency of the changes that are made. Knowing these variables makes searching in Google a more robust and fruitful experience because users are assured that they always get a fresh index of web pages.
To take advantage of the Google Sitemap program, webmasters only need to download a free open-source tool called Sitemap Generator that helps in creating a Sitemap using the Sitemap protocol. Google hopes that webservers will eventually support the protocol so that webmasters will not take any other extra steps to in order to join the program.
Google Sitemaps also freely accepts codes taken from or generated by third party providers and even lists down all of the available third party software within the Google Sitemap pages.
Google's software and service developers are continually tweaking and improving the Google Sitemap program to better address the needs of webmasters. Because of this, new features are continually added to the Sitemap program.
Some of the new features that have been incorporated now revolve around the reporting aspect of Google Sitemap.
When a site has been verified, Google can show webmasters the statistics and errors about the web site as well as the web pages. Among the information that would be included are:
* The URLs that Google had trouble crawling including the reason why. Also included are the top queries that resulted in returns from their web sites as well as those that brought traffic to their sites.
* The web page's PageRank distribution
* The common text in external anchors that other web sites used to link to their web sites.
These new features, as well as others that are still being developed, brings tremendous advantages for webmasters because it makes the task of running a web site so much easier. It also simplifies certain tasks that webmasters need to do to better manage their web site's page ranking. Ultimately, it gives their web sites better exposure as well as the inclusion of more of their web pages in Google's index.
SiteMaps and HyperLinks: Keys to Attract Search Engine Robots
Sitemaps and hyperlinks are the keys to attract search engine robots to your web site. We will look into various techniques related to text links for searchbot optimized web sites, and the importance of sitemap in order to help search engine robots to dig deep into your web site.
Search engine robots or oftenly called searchbots are not terribly sophisticated. They cannot perform action such as button click, form submission or any other action that any human visitor might perform. Searchbots are able to index the page content and click through hyperlinks on the web page. For this reason, adding navigational text links to your web pages provides the search engine robots with another means to click through the links of your web pages when it cannot access these other types of navigation.
A sitemap is a optimized and effective version of your navigation links for searchbots. A sitemap will have links to all of the major pages on your site. You may list all your links in the sitemap for the best performance. This means that once the robot gets to the sitemap page, it can visit every page on your entire web site with minimal effort. Having all of the content of your site included in the search engine database is a good idea to improve your search engine ranking and your web site page rank.
Now next question one can ask is, What a good sitemap contains? Answer is simple. Sitemap should provide following information:
1. Provide text links to at least the most important pages on your site; depending on the size of the site, it may have links to every page. 2. Give a short explanation of each page on your site, to inform your visitors about your web site. 3. Give your visitors the information they need when lost in your web site, and show them how to reach the page they are looking for. 4. Provide a pathway for the search engine robots to follow in order to reach your most important pages. 5. Provide important keyword phrases in the sitemap text and hypertext links that help the automated search engine robot understand what the page is about. 6. Help search engine robots find static landing pages that then link to dynamically generated pages they may not otherwise find.
Even if your web site is small, adding a sitemap for your visitors and for the search engine robots (search bots) is highly recommended and should be part of your web site optimization.
To make your sitemap most attractive to the search engine robots and your human visitors, be sure to include descriptive text along with the page URLs and links. Use your keywords in that text, including appropriate content for each of the pages to which you link. Be careful not to overuse your keyword phrases, though, or you may be penalized in the rankings. Remember that this is a map that will be used by both search engine robots and your human visitors. If the content of the page makes sense to the people who visit your site, chances are it will make sense to the visiting robots as well.
When you make it easy for your visitors to navigate your site, they will find what they are looking for. When you make it easy to search engine robots to move around on your site, you increase your chances of being favorably listed in their search results.
Hey, please visit the Internet Marketing web sites:
Recently Added Internet Related Articles:
Dynamic Content - Recently, I was asked to write a radio program for a non- profit organization. I had worked in broadcast journalism for many years before I switched to online communications and really enjoyed getting back to my radio roots. But something interesting happened as I was writing the script.
Debt Consolidation Blogging - As blogging continues to grow in power and influence, the power and importance of debt consolidation blogging continues to grow as well. It is important for those in need of debt consolidation and financial advice to carefully consider their needs, and to find a debt consolidation blogging site or sites that best meets their own needs.
Generating Fresh Content - There are many reasons to keep adding new or fresh content to your web site. In most businesses and organizations, things change. It may be that the day-to-day activities of your organization interest your clients. Maybe potential clients can gain information from your site, leading to an appreciation for you over your competitors.
Content Sites - The future of Internet marketing forecasts plenty of new media tools and methods to achieve strategic promotional campaigns for businesses of all sizes. And Content Propulsion Lab (CPL), a Division of Content Desk, a major player in provisioning high-quality content for web publishers, appears to be the new place to be to get the scoop.
Free Blogging Service - As blogging continues to grow in power and influence, the power and importance of debt consolidation blogging continues to grow as well. It is important for those in need of debt consolidation and financial advice to carefully consider their needs, and to find a debt consolidation blogging site or sites that best meets their own needs.
Blog Search Engine - First and formost what is a Blog? A weblog is basically a journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating a weblog is "blogging" and someone who keeps a weblog is a "blogger." The growth of weblog usage over the last year has been incrediable. Blog readership increased from 17% of internet users to 27% in just 9 months. The number of weblog authors has increased from 3% in July 2002, 5% at the beginning of 2004, and 7% by late November 2004.
Renting Blog Space - At present we hear more often that adsense is used as an effective tool to display contextually relevant advertisements of a company or product on the web site. If a visitor clicks on the advertisement to check it out the advertisement poster earns a percentage of revenue. Many webmasters are increasingly used the Google Adsense model as it is very effective and popular.
Content Creator - Have you been trying to build web sites with Adsense to generate an online income? But really all you have done is generate web sites that aren't earning money and just causing you heartache. Ok let me start by stating that I have no technical ability when it comes to designing web sites. So, like many, I have gone down the long route of buying nearly all the so called easy softwares for getting your sites up and running, spending in the process in excess of a thousand dollars.
Online Ventures Blogging - First, it's extremely easy to add information to it. A weblog is like an online journal, so you just log in, type what happened today, post it, and you're done! Second (this is the really cool part) you can add a simple little feature that automatically tells a whole bunch of other web sites that you've made an update to your weblog -- every time you make a change!