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What is a Google Sitemap?


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A sitemap quite simply put is a log file which maps out the
entire structure of a website, listing all the links with in a
website, date the pages were last modified, the web pages
priority within the whole website, and the frequency at which
the webpage is changed.

The file is stored on your web server usually under the file
name sitemap.xml.

Sitemap and the Google Search Engine.

Recently Google setup a feature called Google Sitemaps, which
allows webmasters to monitor everything going on with their web
pages within the Google search engine network and quickly inform
them of any changes which have been made to your website
structure.

The webmaster sets up a Google Sitemaps account, giving access
to the Google Sitemap Control Panel, then has to verify they are
the owner of the website by uploading a blank file with a
specified file name issued by Google, once verified the
webmaster can simply create a sitemap using the Google Sitemap
Tool or one of the many free third party ones. Upload load the
newly created sitemap.xml file, and inform Google via a single
button click that the sitemap.xml has been created and ready to
be crawled by the Google spiders.

The Google sitemaps is still in a BETA phase of development and
getting any results in the control panel takes quite some time,
but once the info starts flooding in, you are able to monitor:
keyword searches that return results from your site, keywords
that users click through to access your site, crawl stats for
pages which have been crawled successfully, crawl stats for
pages which have errors, page rank for each of your website
pages, pages which have been indexed, pages which are linking to
your site and checking that your robot.txt file is operating
correctly.

Conclusion

All in all the Google sitemap feature can be a very useful one
especially if you have a large website which has difficulty in
being crawled or you are continually adding more and more pages
therefore the website structure is continually changing. Being
able to inform Google quickly and simply that your website has
changed and needs re-indexing is surely to be popular to all
webmasters who use this utility.

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  • Posted On July 24, 2006
  • Published articles 283513

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