The ROR Advantage: No Spider Discrimination!
Search engine optimization is a very complex science, but at its heart is the simple rule: to format your website in such a way that spiders can immediately recognize and index its content. If they can’t “see” you, you might as well not exist—and if they can’t understand your code, no amount of keywords can get you in the Golden Top 20.
The problem that many website developers used to encounter was that search engines worked differently; so you could end up with a high ranking in Lycos but languish at the bottom of Google. How exactly should you optimize your site so you perform well in all search engines?
Enter ROR (short for Resources for a Resource), an independent XML format that translates your content in a way that all search engines can understand.
Think of it as a web spider’s Cliff’s Notes. it describes all the objects, services, discounts, images, podcasts, etc. If it’s on the site, it’s on the ROR feed, but in a format that’s easy to process and removes all risks of skipping or ignoring a link.
ROR calls its “magic file” structured feeds, which guide search engines as they scan the text. Unlike Google Sitemaps, it’s universally understood—and very easy to process. It’s also more detailed. It doesn’t just give a map or “table of contents”, it actually summarizes what’s inside. It’s also been in existence far longer than Google, so its reliability has been proven by time.
Though it’s been around for a long time, ROR is by no means outdated. The majority of the file formats are already available in ROR, although it is currently being updated to keep up with the growing number of website innovations. But to avoid being too unwieldy, the ROR system tries to re-use existing data structures. It boasts of being very streamlined, a strength that makes it one of the more efficient ways of indexing a site.
Usually the ROR feed is located in the directory, and is named by default ror.xml. It is possible to rename the file, and the search engines will still find it. The only thing it needs to have is a <link> tag in your main page (between the <head> and </head> tags). Another alternative is to create a smaller ror.xml file which will direct the search engines to the ROR feed. You can create this file in the ROR sitemap generator.
About the Author: XML-Sitemaps.com has an online sitemap generator that creates XML, HTML, text and ROR sitemaps and also provides some useful SEO tools.