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Sitemaps - Any Suggestions To A Good Client?


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15 replies to this topic

#1 lister

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 04:29 PM

Hi, what are you guys saying about sitemaps...?

I am looking to create an XML sitemap to generate or maintain files in the "XML Sitemaps format" since I am led to believe, as per google tools - with a new site, (that is yet to be cached or indexed) this is a good first step.

Is there a client or a technique or a tip you guys would recommend?

Thanks!!

#2 Jill

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 05:30 PM

From what i understand it doesn't help nor hurt a site.

#3 lister

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 04:36 PM

I just uploaded one onto my server - I wonder if it has any impact....

I wonder what the real point is because I am uploading content on an almost daily basis, (not so much for the SE but more for my future readers) so therefore what is the point of a historical sitemap?

#4 NASA

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 03:46 AM

A sitemap tells the SE's about all the pages that make up your site, and the ones you consider more important over others, as well as how often they should come back due to the frequency of the content changing / needing re-indexing.

It also helps to get specific pages indexed which are not linked to directly, or if you have a single page written in code which accepts query strings and displays dynamic content, you can create the URLs to the individual pages yourself via a sitemap.

An XML sitemap does exactly what it says on the tin, what are you trying to achieve with a sitemap?

Edited by NASA, 18 May 2009 - 04:23 AM.


#5 Gerry White

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 11:18 AM

I STRONGLY believe a sitemap can hinder indexation, I work in a company providing news to websites and I have often found that clients do daft things with the parameters such as including a last modified date not of the content, but of the file (two different things) and setting ALL pages to index daily,

If you do a sitemap and want to get good results from it - use any of the tools out there by go through it LINE BY LINE to make sure it is as you want it to be both today and for the next X days til you next update it - unless it is dynamic, but the same rules apply ...!

G

#6 NASA

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 03:54 AM

QUOTE
I STRONGLY believe a sitemap can hinder indexation,
well i use them on every site and have done for years and i've not had a problem. Not sure how you've come to that conclusion.

#7 Gerry White

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 06:31 AM

QUOTE(NASA @ May 19 2009, 09:54 AM) View Post
well i use them on every site and have done for years and i've not had a problem. Not sure how you've come to that conclusion.


(I think I explained that in the post ... )

You probably put the right values in the parameters, or leave them blank ... you would be shocked at how may sites I have looked at recently where the date for example isn't the last date the page was updated, but that the page was created, how many have a blanket 'daily' indexation (or weekly) or have pages which are just daft (formsubmit.asp, PPC_LandingPage1, PPC_LandingPage2)

Get it right, it is perfect - it is amazing the uplift in indexing, particularly recent content - especially news content ...

We strongly recommend clients to create sitemaps if they have any indexation problems ...




#8 NASA

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 07:04 AM

well i don't use a date and all my pages regardless have a default of weekly or monthly for frequency.

Personally I don't believe the 'frequency' is acknowledged by the SE's, Google will visit set by its own frequency metric, not because someone told them to visit the site weekly, plus I don't beleive google has the processing power to visit every page on the web weekly just because it says so in the sitemap.

in fact the protocol clearly states
QUOTE
<changefreq> How frequently the page is likely to change. This value provides general information to search engines and may not correlate exactly to how often they crawl the page.


It's a general guideline that cannot and should not be adhered to , and therefore the content is really irrelivant , and so I still fail to see how it can hinder someone getting indexed or re-indexed for that matter.

Agreed people need to carefully think about the pages they include for indexing, but there could be a perfectly valid reason why they want formsubmit.asp included, unless you wrote the ASP code you have no idea what it might be doing!

I have .pl & .cgi URL's in mine, perfectly valid and I have no problems, infact you can do some nice little 301 redirects and gain a little extra link juice if you use the server side coding to your advantage wink1.gif


#9 Gerry White

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 09:50 AM

QUOTE(NASA @ May 19 2009, 01:04 PM) View Post
well i don't use a date and all my pages regardless have a default of weekly or monthly for frequency.

It's a general guideline that cannot and should not be adhered to , and therefore the content is really irrelivant , and so I still fail to see how it can hinder someone getting indexed or re-indexed for that matter.

Agreed people need to carefully think about the pages they include for indexing, but there could be a perfectly valid reason why they want formsubmit.asp included, unless you wrote the ASP code you have no idea what it might be doing!

I have .pl & .cgi URL's in mine, perfectly valid and I have no problems, infact you can do some nice little 301 redirects and gain a little extra link juice if you use the server side coding to your advantage wink1.gif


I am aware Google are going to index X amount of pages per visit, no idea what X is - the company I work for writes the news for these sites and I make sure the site is working to ensure that the news, which is predominantly SEO'd content ... as its news, it often has most impact within the first 12 hours of it going live, any later and its not got the value ... as such sitemaps can bring this content to the front of the que.... !

If a client has the sitemap right, it seems to dramatically improve indexation, if they have it wrong - well, it doesn't help and yes seems to hinder getting fresh content indexed quickly. For any dynamic site this is an issue a weeks worth of lost sales on a product can be critical...







#10 NASA

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 09:54 AM

Yeah the frequency of visit is definately relative to the authority of the site, how often the content changes and a bunch of other things no doubt.

I've put a link for a site review before and within a day my site had been indexed and it was still 'under construction', sometimes visiting too often can be a pain lol.gif, but it just goes to show you how much G! loves HRF and the frequency it must visit!

#11 OptimalPages

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 10:49 AM

Google Webmaster Tools suggests using sitemaps.

QUOTE
The Sitemap Protocol allows you to inform search engines about URLs on your websites that are available for crawling. In its simplest form, a Sitemap that uses the Sitemap Protocol is an XML file that lists URLs for a site. The protocol was written to be highly scalable so it can accommodate sites of any size. It also enables webmasters to include additional information about each URL (when it was last updated; how often it changes; how important it is in relation to other URLs in the site) so that search engines can more intelligently crawl the site.


In my experience with sitemaps (when used correctly) in addition to helping a newly launched website get indexed quicker, they can also help set the crawl rate later on. The key XML tag with all of this is <changefreq>. You can supplement, not dictate, crawl rates with this tag and these values:

- Always
- Hourly (major news sites such as NYT)
- Daily (most blogs)
- Weekly (home page of most websites)
- Monthly (typical static web pages)
- Yearly
- Never (archived pages)

The key to success with using sitemaps as an indexing aide is not to overshoot your estimate of this tag.

#12 lister

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 03:33 PM

Yeah....to be honest it doesnt seem to help or harm

The only thing i dont get is that i made a site map and then uploaded it - all well and good, but that was like two weeks ago, since then more content has been added to the site so what is the point? Anyway i guess it is better than not and does little way in the way of harm...

#13 torka

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 05:11 PM

Uhm... if it's an XML sitemap you're talking about, I think the idea is you're supposed to generate a new one and re-upload whenever you add content...

--Torka mf_prop.gif

#14 1dmf

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 04:45 AM

hysterical.gif , Torka you're a diamond!

#15 Karri

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 01:07 PM

QUOTE(torka @ May 31 2009, 04:11 PM) View Post
Uhm... if it's an XML sitemap you're talking about, I think the idea is you're supposed to generate a new one and re-upload whenever you add content...

--Torka mf_prop.gif


I have a prospective client who has a large dynamic site that content is added to daily (in the form of listings). Apparently they've been submitting their xml sitemaps to the search engines every single day. Is this really necessary? The site is not new.

Karri




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