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Google and Yahoo Site Maps
Letís discuss a site map (sometimes called a site index). To start, letís see what Wikipedia has to say about it.
ďA site map (or sitemap) is a web page that lists the pages on a web site site, typically organized in hierarchical fashion. This helps visitors, and search engine bots, to find pages on the site.
While some developers argue that site index is a more appropriately used term to relay page function, web visitors are used to seeing each term and generally associate both as one in the same.Ē
The important topic is the one about search enginge bots (robots or spiders) that crawl your website. It is very important to make it as easy as possible for the spider to search your site. The easier it is for the spider, the more likely you will improve your ranking with the search engine.
Both Google and Yahoo have sitemap features associated with them. The requirements of each are a little different so if you maintain your site maps yourself, you will need to know about the differences. When you add a page to your site, you will need to update your site map and notify Google and Yahoo of the change so it can schedule a spider to come check your site for the new information.
You can also go to Google and log on to add your site map to their database. Once it is added, you can log in and see when your site was last checked by the spider and if the spider encountered any problems in crawling your site. This is just another of the many functions that you need to perform in order to have a first class website.
If you use Site Build It (SBI), it does this automatically each time that you add a page or modify a page to your SBI website. To get the process started. you do have to manually add the site to both Google and Yahoo, but SBI leads you through the procedure. SBI will handle the following updates or addition of with Google and Yahoo.
To read the Google explanation about site maps follow this link. https://www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/docs/en/about.html.
To log onto Yahoo and submit your site to the index, go to http://submit.search.yahoo.com/free/request.
There are some packages for developing and maintaining site maps. You can use Google or Yahoo to find some of these. I have not researched any of these so I will not make any recommendations.
Donít forget to maintain your site map on your site and notify Google and Yahoo when you make changes or additions to your site.
Letís take a look at what the site map looks like for Retirement Jobs Online.com. Click on the link http://www.retirement-jobs-online.com/gAe7FNB6.xml to see what is in the site map. It is basically a list of the pages in the website.
Here is an example of an entry in the Retirement Jobs Online.com site map.
Authorís note: If you see the HTML tags xmp and /xmp these are added in this article to tell the browser not to consider what is between them as executable HTML, but rather, print it as text.
The site map is written in XML. The url tag starts the entry. The loc tags specify the URL for the page. The lastmod tags tell the date of the last change to the page. The priority tags specify the priority of this page relative to other pages on the same site. The value is a number between 0.0 and 1.0, where 0.0 is the lowest priority and 1.0 is the highest priority. The priority can affect the order that search engines select URLs to explore on your site. Since the priority is relative, it is only used to select between URLs within your own site; the priority of your pages will not be compared to the priority of pages on other sites. The /url ends the entry for this page.
Google has a free utility to help create site maps in its webmasterís section. Go to Google for more information on how to submit your site. http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35769.
About the Author: John V. W. Howe is an entrepreneur, author, inventor, patent holder, husband, father, and grandfather. He has been involved in entrepreneurial activities for over 40 years.
He has founded www.boomer-ezine.com, www.retirement-jobs-online.com and www.boomer-entrepreneur.com to help Boomers (baby boomers) become entrepreneurs when they retire.