How to Make Use of Google SiteMaps · Index · Part 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10 · 11 · Expand · Web Feed

Usually Google's crawler Googlebot will find each and every page on your web site, as long as a link known by Google points to it. Once Googlebot has spidered a page, it returns every once in a while to check for your updates. Shortly after Googlebot's visit, Google updates its index and changes the ranking of your pages. If you've changed the content (visible text, image descriptions...) of a page, Google will deliver your pages on its SERPs for new keywords or it will rank your pages differently. If you've added new pages and if you provide links to these pages, Google includes them into its index. That's pretty much simplistic, but to make use of Google's SiteMap service you don't need to understand the details. Hire a SEO if you want your web site ranked better.

This established procedure has its disadvantages, both for Google and webmasters as well. It burns resources and a high percentage of the results are pretty much useless. Googlebot has to crawl zillions of pages daily, just to find out that they weren't changed. Since Googlebot is that busy fetching pages archived in the stone age of the internet, it may find new content way too late. What was missing is a communication channel between Google and site owners, dedicated to adjust the crawling process. Dealing with billions of pages on the net, Google had no chance to communicate with webmasters on an individual or per site base. Google SiteMaps now opens this cannel for everybody, offering a method to exchange information on new and modified content in a timely manner. Both sides can benefit: Google saves a whole of a lot of machine time and bandwidth costs, site owners get their new content earlier on Google's SERPs and reduce their server load by Googlebot no longer spidering archived content too frequently.

Due to the nature of the beast, this channel needs full automation on both sides. Google itself as operator of the service took care of it, but a few millions of webmasters around the globe are called to implement a suitable solution to fully automate the Google SiteMap generation and maintenance, without reinventing the wheel. Google offers a Sitemap Generator requiring Python 2.2 or higher installed on the web server. A couple of webmasters have posted their scripts on the boards, a few blogs are offering solutions written in PHP, ASP and other programming languages, and a handful of tools are available from messages in Google's SiteMap Group. Sooner or later all content management systems will come with this functionality build-in.

Fortunately, there is a lot of useful stuff out there. Unfortunately, in a pretty fast growing number of posts and code snippets compilable from message boards, blogs, usenet groups and search engine related web sites, the webmaster searching for an adaptable solution fitting a particular web site's needs, seeks the needle in a haystack. Providing a webmaster has enough of a code monkey to customize a script, we don't offer just another superfluous piece of code, but a tutorial how to make use of Google SiteMaps.

Understanding the Google SiteMap ProtocolNext Page

How to Make Use of Google SiteMaps · Index · Part 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10 · 11 · Expand · Web Feed

Author: Sebastian
Last Update: Saturday, June 04, 2005   Web Feed

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