I’m a fanatic about a good site map, even though the one on this blog is manually created, a serious pain in the…everything… and way past due updating because it is manually created.
I was thrilled with the article by Jim Westergren, “Tutorial on Automatic Site Maps in WordPress”, highlighting several different methods and WordPress Plugins to create different types of site maps.
Just as a reminder, there are sitemaps and site maps. A site map is a listing of your posts or articles on your blog, arranged chronologically, alphabetically, or by category. It helps visitors maneuver through your site.
A “sitemap” is a term used by Google, MSN, and Yahoo! and is a file you can submit and store on your website’s server that no one sees but search engine web crawlers. They use the sitemap as a guide to help them move through your website, finding all your articles and posts. There are a variety of WordPress Plugins and online tools that will help you create and maintain sitemaps, and there is a growing trend to make the sitemaps “human readable” and turned into site maps, but this isn’t what we’re talking about here.
A good site map works wonders to help visitors navigate your site, and also helps search engines find content throughout your site when they run across your site map page. A good site map is a table of contents for your entire blog.
Personally, I adore a site map organized by category rather than chronologically or alphabetically. Honestly, when was the last time you searched a blog for a post written on October 4th, 2004? You search for the content in the post that just happens to have been published on that date, regardless of the date, right? When you are looking for information, keywords and categories are the key to finding it, whether you are searching or using a site map.
A good site map takes into account how people look for information. And the yellow pages phone book is a tried and true example of a well organized and structured site map. ;-)
- Google Sitemaps Goes Standard With Acceptance By Microsoft and Yahoo!
- Submitting Your Sitemap and Feeds to Google Blog Search and Site Submission
- Creating Effective, Attention-Getting Headlines and Titles
- One Year Anniversary Review: Blogging and Blogging Tips
- One Year Anniversary Review: Searching and Search Engines
- Do-It-Yourself Search Engine Optimization Guide
- How Search Engines See, Search, and Visit Your Website