The Google Blog announces the sitemap protocol has now been accepted by Yahoo! and Microsoft as a standard for webmasters to assist with website crawling and “submissions”.
Last year we published the Sitemap 0.84 XML protocol as a free and easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about URLs on their web sites so that search engines can more effectively crawl them. We released it under the Attribution/Share Alike Creative Commons license in the hopes that other search engines would adopt the protocol too. And today, we’re excited to announce that Yahoo! and Microsoft are joining us in officially supporting the Sitemap protocol.
Let’s clear up the words first so you may understand what we’re talking about.
A site map is a page on a website or blog that lists posts, categories, and information on getting around on a blog like a table of contents or index.
A Sitemap is a generated file written in XML code or “language” that lists the posts on your site. When a search engine’s web crawler visits your site, it can read the sitemap, if you have one, and use it like a table of contents directory or index to make its way through your website or blog. While there are now some tools which turn your sitemap into a site map for your blog, users don’t “see” a sitemap as it is just a file that sits on your blog’s server site.
The idea behind Sitemaps is to help speed up the process of a web crawler crawling the site, as well as assist it in finding ALL the web pages on your site.
By default, WordPress blogs are simple and easy for search engines to crawl, so you don’t need to have a Sitemap unless you notice only a few pages from your site are NOT being listed on Google and other search engines. Your site’s design and intrasite linking might not be solid enough for all your posts to be found when web crawlers come to call. A Sitemap will help overcome the problem of your lost post orphans, helping the crawler find its way around your site thoroughly.
Whether or not you choose to go with a Sitemap on your site, take time to make sure your site is as navigation friendly as possible. Search engines follow your intrasite links to find their way through your site. The Sitemap is used as a form of checks and balances, helping them find what they’ve missed. Don’t let them miss anything the first time around.
If you would like to add a Sitemap to your WordPress blog, use Arne Brachhold’s Google Sitemap Generator for WordPress v2 Final.
You can learn more about Sitemaps from Google Sitemap, too.
- Submitting Your Blog To Google’s Sitemap and Feed Search Engine
- Blog Site Search Engine Submissions
- Website Development – Search Engine Submission Preparation
- More Than You Want to Know – Search Engine Articles, Information, and Resources
- Search Engine Friendly: Helping Googlebot Crawl Your Blog
- DIY Search Engine Optimization
- Link Referrals – Linking to Site Search Tags
- How Search Engines See, Search, and Visit Your Website
- How People Search the Web and How They Can Find Your Blog
- Tags and Tagging in WordPress
- Search Engine Site Submission Secrets
- Technical Tips for Publishing a Series of Articles on Your Blog
- SEO Secret: Exploring How Search Engines Explore
- One Year Anniversary Review: The Power of the Link
- One Year Anniversary Review: Searching and Search Engines
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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network