Google Sitemaps – Another great tool
I’m sure you’ve read about Google’s sitemap initiative, but if not, it’s worth your while to learn enough about it to implement it yourself or demand that your web person understand it.
Basically, Google is allowing website owners to submit a map of their website in a special XML file. This file is then used by Google to crawl the site. The XML file also automatically adds any new content and alerts Google to have a look at the new content. On the surface this seems like a perfect new tool and it is.
Brand new sites have a much better chance of being listed immediately and spidered deeply – something that could take months in the past.
I added to Google sitemaps to all of my sites when I first heard about them, but frankly, my sites were indexed already. About a week ago I launched a brand new shopping site for a client and wanted to test the Google sitemap on this clean slate. This was a brand new domain and brand new site. I added a Google site map, submitted the site map to Google and did nothing else. No submissions, no RSS feeds, no inbound links from high ranking sites – nothing. Within 48 hours, all 18,000 pages from this site had been indexed and traffic from Google searches started to show up.
And, it gets better. In the last few days Google added some statistics to the site map program. (They also added the Urchin Analytics program but it is having some function issues so far – more on this later.) For instance, you can now see top search queries and top search query clicks for your site. Top search queries are the top queries to Google that return pages from your site. Top search query clicks are the top queries to Google that directed traffic to your site (based on the number of clicks to your pages in our search results). Good stuff to know.
Okay, now that I convinced you to check into this, here is a list of great Google sitemap resources:
By the way, I use the VIGOS GSitemap software for my sites.