Google Sitemaps Explained - How To Use Google Sitemaps
Three Ways To Index Your Site With Google Sitemaps [Difficult, Hard, And Easy]
Google has recently implemented a program where any webmaster can create a Sitemap of their Site and submit it for indexing by Google. It is a quick and easy way for you to keep your site constantly indexed and updated in Google.
The program is appropriately called Google Sitemaps.
In order for you to best use Sitemaps, you must have an XML generated file on your site that will transmit or send any updates, changes, and data to Google. XML (Extensible Markup Language)is everywhere these days, you have probably seen the orange XML logo on many web sites and its often associated with Blogging because Blogs use XML/RSS feeds to syndicate their content.
Today RSS is known mostly as 'Really Simple Syndication' but its original acronym stood for 'Rich Site Summary'. XML is only simple code like HTML and it is used to syndicate your content to all interested parties.
And the interested party in this case is Google. By creating Sitemaps Google is really asking webmasters to take charge of the indexing and updating of their sites. Basically, doing the Googlebot's job!
This is a 'Good' thing! With the steady influx of new web sites growing rapidly, indexing all this material will become a challenge, even with the resources of Google. With Sitemaps, websmasters can now take charge and make sure their site is crawled and indexed.
Please note, indexing your site with Sitemaps WON'T improve your rankings in Google. You will still be competing with the other sites in Google for top positions. But with Sitemaps you can make sure all your pages are crawled and indexed quickly by Google.
There are some other big advantages of using Google's Sitemaps -- mainly you have control over a few key variables, attributes or tags. To explain this as simply as possible, your XML powered sitemap file will have this simple code for each page of your site:
< loc>http://www.yoursite.com/< / loc>
< priority>1.0< /priority>
< lastmod>2005-07-03T16:18:09+00:00< /lastmod>
< changefreq>daily< /changefreq> < /url>
Along with 'urlset' tags at the beginning and end of your code, and an XML version indication - that's basically your XML file! File size will depend on the number of webpages you have.
Taking a closer look at this XML file:
location http://www.yoursite.com -- name of your webpage
priority you set the priority you want Google to place on that page in your site. You can prioritize your pages: 0.0 being the least, 1.0 being the highest, 0.5 is in the middle. This is ONLY relative to your site. It will not affect your rankings. Why is this important? You have certain pages on your site that are more important than others, (home page, high profit page, opt-in page, etc.) by placing high priority on these pages, you will increase their importance in Google.
last modified when you last modified that page, this timestamp allows crawlers to avoid recrawling pages that haven't changed.
change frequency you can tell Google how often you change that particular page. Never, weekly, daily, hourly, and so on -- if you frequently update your page this could be extremely important.
Why do I need a XML Generator?
In order for this XML sitemap file on your site to be constantly updated, you need a Generator that will spider your site, list all the urls and automatically feed them to Google. Thus constantly updating your site in Google's massive index or database. Keep in mind, Google also gives you the option of submitting a simple text file with all your URLs.
Now there is already a flood of these generators popping up! Different ways of generating your XML powered sitemap file. More are probably appearing as you read this. But lets look at Three ways to generate your XML file.
Difficult Google's Python Generator
That's a relative term, if you know your server like the back of your hand and installing scripts doesn't scare the bejesus out of you, you're probably smiling at the word difficult. Google supplies a link to a generator which you can download and set up on your server. It will cough up your sitemap XML file and automatically feed it to Google. Google XML Generator
In order for this Generator to work, Python version 2.2 must be installed on your web server, many servers don't have this. If you know what you're doing, this will probably be a good choice.
You don't need a Google Account to use Sitemaps but it's encouraged because you can track your sitemap's progress and view diagnostic information. If you already have another Google Account gmail, Google Alerts, etc. just use that one to sign in and follow directions from there.
To submit your Sitemap using an HTTP request, issue your request to the following URL:
Hard A PHP Code Generator
This is a php generator that you can place on your server. This generator will spider your site, and produce your XML sitemap file. Download the phpSitemapNG and upload it your server. Run the generator to get your XML sitemap file and send it to Google. PHP Generator
Again, this is only hard to do if you don't know your way around PHP files or scripts.
Easy Free Online Generator
These Generators are popping up everywhere, and Google now keeps a list of these 'third party suppliers' of generators on their site. Find them here: Google's List of Third Party Generators
One of the easiest to use is www.xml-sitemaps.com, and you can index up to 500 pages with this online Generator very quickly and it will give you the sitemap XML file Google needs to index your site.
It will go into your site, spider it and index all your pages into an XML sitemap of your site. You can download this file, Compressed or Non- compressed and make minor changes such as setting the priority, changing frequency, etc.
Then upload this file to your site as sitemap.xml to the root directory of your server i.e. where you have your homepage. Then notify Google Sitemaps of your XML file and you're in business.
Of course, the only drawback, if you constantly add pages to your site you will need to also add these pages to your XML sitemap file. This won't be much of a problem unless you're daily adding pages to your site -- then you will need something like the PHP or Python generator to do all this for you automatically.
Google is still the major search engine on the web so getting your pages indexed and updated quickly is the major reason to use Google Sitemaps. If you want your site to remain competitive it's probably the wisest route to take.
To learn more about the different Services and Programs offered
Copyright © 2005 Titus Hoskins of http://www.bizwaremagic.com
This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.
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Ever felt intimidated at the convoluted, jargon-ridden information about Internet marketing for small businesses available on the Net? Ever been horrified by the huge fees the experts charge, putting search engine optimization beyond your own means? Ever thought: What exactly is search engine optimization anyway, and can I do it myself?The answer is: Yes, you can! The basics of search engine optimisation in applied web marketing are simple. It's all to do with the keyword content of your text copy, and can be summarised in seven points.
Guide to Search Engine Optimization
What is Search Engine Optimization?Search Engine Optimization or SEO for short is modification done in the web site design, coding, content and/or structure of a web site in an effort to achieve the higher ranking within search engines. Search Engine Optimization are done to attend the highest ranking in the search engine results for some targeted keywords or key phrases.
Search Engines from a Webmaster Perspective
By now, virtually every webmaster has heard or read that the major search engines are responsible for 80% or more of the traffic received by most web sites and that most searchers never look beyond the first 20 - 50 search results. Not surprisingly, an entire industry devoted to search engine ranking and search engine optimization (SEO) has sprung up to capitalize on these well known facts.
Analyzing Googles Backlinks Is Close To Worthless
So, Where Has Your Search Engine Been Today?
Visit Google, Yahoo, MSN or one of the lesser search engines, and you get a few million results for just about any search term. Despite this impressive depth of results, most users consider only a few of the WebPages being pointed to.
Cache in the Bank: Understanding Googles Advanced Operators
If you would like to know when your site was last indexed by Google, you can find out easily by using the Google cache command. By typing "cache:www.
Search Engine Spiders Lost Without Guidance - Post This Sign!
The robots.txt file is an exclusion standard required by all web crawlers/robots to tell them what files and directories that you want them to stay OUT of on your site.
Google Ban - How Not To Get Banned By Google!
Given that Google now provides over 75% of all Internet search traffic, the last possible thing any site owner would want is to be banned from the Google index!With countless search engine marketing techniques being employed these days, and contrasting advice available all over the web, it is well worth ensuring that you do not 'over optimise' your site or use any techniques which will result in Google penalising your site.Although the main rule would be to create a site which caters for your audience, provides quality content and contains meta information which is faithful to your site content, you should always optimise your site code to aid in your search ranking efforts, but this should be done in moderation, and in line with the following tips.
Reciprocal Linking Scams, What to Look for and How to Avoid Them
Reciprocal linking scams have increased immensely during the past year. Initially we thought that this problem only related to gambling and casino related websites but an audit of our commercial link partners suggests that it is a serious problem within the broader online community.
Affordable Small Business SEO: 5 Common SEO Errors and How to Fix Them
Don't put the cart before the horse.You can't do SEO (optimize your web site for search engines) until you've researched keywords.
Site-Digest 7 Simple Steps To Place Your Site Map On Steroids
The Site Map is a too often overlooked piece of the Search engine Optimization Puzzle. Here is a Simple Step 7 step approach to create a Super Charged Site Digest on Steroids that will get your web pages indexed faster and more often.
List Building vs. Search Engine Optimization
It seems the excitement about search engine optimization fades in and out from time to time. The more people talk about search engine optimization (SEO) the more it seems to be the logical choice for bringing customers to your site.
Supply & Demand - Stop Attacking Good SEO Companies!
As I read the latest news online about what Google has done to many webmasters all over the world, I am left discussed towards some of the comments people are making against SEO Companies.Please don't be quick to blame seo companies.
Search Engine Optimization Tips For 2005 - Part One
Anybody who has their own website or is involved in business online understands the importance of SEO or search engine optimization. Higher rankings equal more traffic.
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