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SEO Sitemaps Give Websites a Boost

A lot of web pages will find an SEO sitemap useful in improving their performance. SEO stands for "Search Engine Optimization", the process that aims to create or revise Internet sites so that it can be better found by search engines. The objective of SEO campaigns is to have web sites appear in the top listing or first results page of search engines.

Internet search engines, such as Google and A9, maintain a very large database of Web pages and available files. To do this, they devise a program called a web crawler, or spider. This software automatically and continuously surfs and hunts content in the Web. Pages that the spider finds are retrieved and indexed according to text content, giving more weight to titles and paragraph headers. Spiders never stop navigating the web from page to page, to index the relevant content of the Internet. Besides looking at the text of titles and headers, some programs are able to identify default tags and keep a library of these page keywords or key phrases in the index.

When a user connects to the Internet types a query, which is automatically interpreted as keywords, the search engine scans the saved index and creates a list of web pages that is most appropriate to what the user is searching for.

SEO will use all the combined techniques of keyword analysis, smart code, good content literature, link popularity study and web site organization to place the subject web page as high as possible in the list of search results in search engines. Web pages displayed on the top of results pages are assumed to get the most attention, and therefore, opportunity for earnings for web businesses and pages with sponsor links.

Search engines usually return a list of results ranking pages according to the number of Internet sites linked to them. Results can be classified as organic, or sponsored links. Sponsored links are shown prominently because their creators or agents paid the search engine. Sponsored links are the main source of income of search engines. "Organic" search results are the lists of actual results from the engines index and are directly related to the keyword typed in the request. One of the more effective techniques of SEO is the creation of a well-organized site map in a web site. Since the site's main page and other content are directly linked to a site map, spiders can more easily move through the web site, identify the key words of the content, and index these for a search engine. This is where the SEO sitemap helps the web site creator or administrator.

Site maps are usually pages filled with links. These are shown as tables or lists, although lists are generally more effective. Writing code for SEO sitemaps is very easy and simple to format and maintain. These are ideally basic HTML pages with default tags, logical titles and keywords scattered in the Meta description. Introduction areas can contain more of the keywords. The site should have a main heading for every directory.

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A simple list layout helps reduce unnecessary tags that might "hide" your keywords. Some spiders give more weight to the following, than text in the normal body of the webpage: heading text, content within link elements, text nearer the top of the page and the text written for a link. Therefore, writing the keywords and links in these areas could somehow move up the web page's ranking. This goes for SEO sitemaps as well.

Web sites should be designed consistently, so navigation models should follow the flow of the site map. Therefore, the first section in the site map should be the first link in the navigation bar.

In an SEO Sitemap, and most pages, the headings contain title attributes where more key phrases in the site map can be added. Keywords are generally well chosen and written in the body of a webpage. However, in an SEO site map with little text, key words should be added as much as possible. As much as possible, web links should follow web page titles, and must undergo SEO during coding. Care must be exercised not to cram the page with keywords and links, or the page will be interpreted as blatant spamming and not receive any traffic at all.

There is no way to guarantee that a web site will be shown in the topmost ranking of "organic" search results for an extended period of time. However, smart and responsible SEO sitemap techniques can be used to place the web site high up in the search position. Regular monitoring and adjustment of the SEO Sitemap and search results would ensure that a web site is kept near the top ranking and receiving lots of web user traffic.

Related: Sexual Content - Xml Sitemap

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The Newest Features of Google Sitemaps

Google has announced the addition of some truly useful features to make Google Sitemaps an even better tool for the web. They've given their site a facelift and made it easier to navigate. They asked for feedback and they listened. Hopefully, the result is something everyone will love.

A feature that many webmasters will be happy to know about is the notification of violations. No longer will they be left in the dark about what is happening. They will know if they have violated the webmaster guidelines and why.

The rules are pretty simple. Create your site that is truly helpful to your users and avoid doing naughty things just to increase your ranking. Linking to bad sites, hidden texts or links, installing viruses, trojans or other "badware" are just a few of the reasons why your URL will not be included in any Google index.

You don't even need to look far to know if you have a violation. Google notifies you directly on the summary page of your account. They also place a link to webmaster's guidelines so you can double check that your site is once again in proper form to be included in Google's index - this is the second new feature.

Google does not want to exclude any sites that are good. It is possible that the violations were unintentional. It may even be that the webmasters truly have overlooked some items on their site. Google says clean it up and get the chance to be re-included.

Re-inclusion is absolutely simple and easy. Once you see the violation notification, check what needs to be fixed. Correct the item that Google felt is a violation of their rules. Now all you need to do is click on the request reinclusion link on your summary page, or the link at the Google Sitemap home page, and fill out the form. Just don't forget that you don't need to request reinclusion if you haven't received a violation.

If you're a new webmaster and need a helping hand, Google has a help center for webmasters. It has all the information you need to know about Google Sitemaps. If you have questions about Googlebot, crawling, indexing, ranking and the like, this is the place to go. If the answer you're looking for isn't there, no worries; the Google Sitemaps community is there to interact with as well.

By the way, not everybody by the way receives a notification of violation. Google has chosen not to notify certain webmasters of their penalty in certain cases. For example, they will not notify a spammer that he's been caught. Doing so will only alert him that they have caught on to his game and possibly trigger his making even sneakier ways to get in.

On the whole, these improvements are wonderful additions and long overdue. Google really wants to improve their services and the best way is for people to keep using their products and giving feedback. The team behind Google is definitely listening.

XML-Sitemaps.com provides a free Google site map generator which will also produce a Yahoo site map and HTML site map for webmasters.

SEO With Google Sitemaps

What is a Google Sitemap?

A Google Sitemap is a very simple XML document that lists all the pages in your web site, but the Google Sitemaps program is actually much more important than that. In fact, the Sitemaps program provides a little peek inside Google's mind - and it can tell you a lot about what Google thinks of your web site!

Why Should You Use Google Sitemaps?

Until Google Sitemaps was released in the summer of 2005, optimizing a site for Google was a guessing game at best. A web site's page might be deleted from the index, and the Webmaster had no idea why. Alternatively, a site's content could be scanned, but because of the peculiarities of the algorithm, the only pages that would rank well might be the "About Us" page, or the company's press releases.

As webmasters we were at the whim of Googlebot, the seemingly arbitrary algorithmic kingmaker that could make or break a web site overnight through shifts in search engine positioning. There was no way to communicate with Google about a web site - either to understand what was wrong with it, or to tell Google when something had been updated.

That all changed about a year ago when Google released Sitemaps, but the program really became useful in February of 2006 when Google updated it with a couple new tools.

So, what exactly is the Google Sitemaps program, and how can you use it to improve the position of your web site? Well, there are essentially two reasons to use Google Sitemaps:

1. Sitemaps provide you with a way to tell Google valuable information about your web site

2. You can use Sitemaps to learn what Google thinks about your web site

What You Can Tell Google About Your Site

Believe it or not, Google is concerned about making sure webmasters have a way of communicating information that is important about their sites. Although Googlebot does a pretty decent job of finding and cataloging web pages, it has very little ability to rate the relative importance of one page versus another. After all, many important pages on the Internet are not properly "optimized", and many of the people who couldn't care less about spending their time on linking campaigns create some of the best content.

Therefore, Google gives you the ability to tell them on a scale of 0.0 to 1.0 how important a given page is relative to all the others. Using this system, you might tell Google that your home page is a 1.0, each of your product sections is a 0.8, and each of your individual product pages is a 0.5. Pages like your company's address and contact information might only rate a 0.2.

You can also tell Google how often your pages are updated and the date that each page was last modified. For example your home page might be updated every day, while a particular product page might only be updated on an annual basis.

What Google Can Tell You About Your Site

Having the ability to tell Google all this information is important, but you don't even need to create a sitemap file in order to enjoy some of the perks of having a Google Sitemaps account.

That's because even without a Sitemap file, you can still learn about any errors that Googlebot has found on your web site. As you probably know, your site doesn't have to be "broken" for a robot to have trouble crawling it's pages. Google Sitemaps will tell you about pages it was unable to crawl and links it was unable to follow. Therefore, you can see where these problems are and fix them before your pages get deleted from the index.

You can also get information on the types of searches people are using to find your web site. Of course, most web site analytics tools will give this information to you anyway, but if the tool you use doesn't have this feature, then it's always nice to get it for free from Google.

But the best part of the Sitemaps program is the Page analysis section that was added in February of 2006. This page gives you two lists of words. The first list contains the words that Googlebot associates with your web site based on content on your site. The second list contains words that Googlebot has found linking to your site!

Unfortunately, Google limits the number of words in each list to 20. As a consequence, the inbound links column is partly wasted by words such as "http", "www", and "com" - terms that apply equally to all web sites (hey Google, how about suppressing those terms from the report?). That said, this list does provide you with a way to judge the effectiveness of your offsite optimization efforts.

When you compare these two lists, you can get an understanding of what Google thinks your web site is about. If the words on your Site Content column are not really what you want Googlebot to think about your site, then you know you need to tweak your web site's copy to make it more focused on your core competency.

If, on the other hand your inbound links don't contain any keywords that you want to rank well for, then perhaps you should focus your efforts in that direction.

Above all else, you really want these two lists to agree. You want your inbound linked words to match up to the site content words. This means that Google has a clear understanding of the focus of your web site.

Additional Benefits of the Sitemaps Program

Google has even started notifying Sitemaps-participating Webmasters if they are breaking any of Google's Webmaster Guidelines. This can be very valuable information if your site suddenly becomes de-listed on Google and you don't know why.

Only Sitemaps participants can get this information, and it is only provided at Google's discretion. In fact, Google will NOT notify you if you are creating worthless web sites that offer no original content, or if you are creating thousands of doorway pages that are redirecting to other web sites. Google doesn't want to give the sp@ammers any clues as to how to improve their techniques.

How Do You Get Started with Google Site Maps?

The first thing you must do is obtain a Google Account. If you already have a Gmail, Adsense, or Adwords account, then you are all set. If not, you can register an account by visiting the Google Accounts page (https://www.google.com/accounts/NewAccount).

Building your sitemap file is pretty easy to do if you are familiar with XML, and if you aren't you can always use a third-party tool such as the ones that are listed on Google's web site (http://code.google.com/sm_thirdparty.html). Google also has a "Sitemap Generator" that you can download and install on your server, but unless you are fairly adept at managing Python scripts, you should probably stick to the third-party tools.

At any rate, once you have your Google Account and your Sitemap file built, the rest is very easy. All you have to do is:

1. Log into your account (http://google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/siteoverview)

2. Type your web site's URL into the "Add Site" box and click on "OK"

3. Click on the Manage Sites link for the web site you are adding, and add your sitemap file to your account.

Google Sitemaps - An Excellent SEO Tool

Google Sitemaps help Googlebot quickly find new content on your web site. They allow you to tell Google what's important, what's new, and what changes often. The tools provided to webmasters through the program can play a vital role in helping you understand how the search engines (especially Google) view your web site.

Using this information you can dramatically improve the position of your web site and quickly clear up any issues Google finds. You can also use the tools provided by Google to gauge the effectiveness of your off-site optimization efforts so you can better focus your time and energy on activities that bring you the most success.

Matthew Coers is an Internet marketing expert. His web site, ProfitChoice.com contains online courses designed to teach entrepreneurs how to build a web site and make money online. Download his FREE Internet Marketing report, <a href="http

Virtual Hand-Holding: Aids in making sitemaps

In virtual hand-holding, it is an important tip to remember that people visit the site in order to look for some information. Internet surfers are an unforgiving lot. They only visit sites that are useful to them. With thousands of web sites out there that offer the same features as your own site, how do you stand out? This is where sitemaps come in.

What is a sitemap, you ask? Just as the name implies, this is an aid that makes navigating a web site easier. The premise is basically the same as in an ordinary map. A sitemap contains the structure of the web site as well as links to the site's major parts and subsections. Now, if your site offers sufficient information as well as easy navigation then you have hit the jackpot. Your site will probably generate more traffic than your competitors'.

Another advantage to having a site map is that search engines love it, mainly because of two things -- text and keywords. Therefore, it might also prove beneficial to combine relevant keywords with hypertext links. For instance, if your sitemap has a link to web site promotion, then your hyperlink should contain the words 'web site promotion' and then linked directly to that page in your site.

Contrary to what a lot of people think, a site map need not be fancy. It's good for it to be catchy, though what's important is for it to be clear and easy to navigate. In order to have a good site map, one must remember four things.

First, a prominent link to your sitemap should be placed on every page. It should be labelled as SITE MAP so that surfers can easily spot it.

The next thing you need to remember in order to have a good sitemap is that your sitemap should show all your web pages through different levels as basic text links.

The third thing to remember is to use standard colours for links and for the visited links as well.

Lastly, your sitemap should show a quick and easy-to-follow overview of the site without the need to scroll around in the web browser.

Google and Yahoo had begun allowing people to submit site maps to their account as a way of informing them about your web pages as well as the updates to your site. Although it does not help your page ranking any, it's still worth taking the time to set up properly.

As more people came to the conclusion that sitemaps are indispensable, more and more sites have began offering free software for generating site maps. A quick search on Google for advice on creating a site map initially cropped up many links to software you could buy or download for free to create a site map. One such site is www.xml-sitemaps.com, which offers a free online sitemap generator.

When you are done with your sitemap, do not forget to tell Google about it so they can nose about and hopefully index all the pages of your site.

XML-Sitemaps.com offers a free online sitemap generator that creates Google Sitemaps, Text Sitemaps for Yahoo and a HTML Sitemap to help spiders index your site more thoroughly.

XML-Sitemaps.com offers a free online sitemap generator that creates Google Sitemaps, Text Sitemaps for Yahoo and a HTML Sitemap to help spiders index your site more thoroughly.

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