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Value Of Xml Sitemap


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#1 bobmeetin

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 10:59 PM

I have, perhaps foolishly, gotten into a LinkedIn (group) debate regarding the value of submitting an XML Sitemap to Google. My contention is that if you have a reasonably well developed site with good navigation, then submitting a sitemap to speed up the indexing process will be of little value. After all, we all know (don't we) that Google does what Google does and attempting to control its indexing behavior is time poorly spent.

 

Paraphrased kind of from the opposition, "Submitting a sitemap to Google should be step one in launching a new website, and should be in the top 5 maintenance tasks as time goes on. A properly prepared, submitted, and maintained sight map can do wonders for your SEO efforts."

 

Fact or Fiction or not enough data?

 

 

 

 



#2 qwerty

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 05:20 AM

Did the person you're paraphrasing get into any detail? I'd be curious to learn exactly what they believe a sitemap can accomplish that internal linking can't.

 

Personally, I think it's worth it to generate and submit one. You may have failed to link to a few pages properly, and the sitemap can be mildly helpful in tracking that down, but not specifically helpful -- while WMT will tell you that your sitemap contains X URLs and Google has indexed X-Y of them, it's not as if it tells you which pages have been orphaned. WMT will show you a breakdown of how much you link to particular pages, but of course it would do that whether you submitted a sitemap or not.

 

It's also worth noting that an XML sitemap can serve as a signal that you've done a bad job on the site. At least according to Bing, if your sitemap contains bad URLs -- anything that doesn't get a 200 response -- it's a bad sign. It's like making a promise and failing to keep it, so if you're going to do a sitemap (and I usually do), you'd better do it right, or you could be hurting yourself more than you would by skipping the sitemap altogether.


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#3 bobmeetin

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 05:40 AM

A properly prepared, submitted, and maintained sight map can do wonders for your SEO efforts.

 

That was a blanket statement. Earlier in the thread I suggested that creating a sitemap could be useful in tracking down errors, yes it has utility. If it helps you to find errors, orphaned pages, troublesome navigation which you discuss I buy the usefulness. For that matter employing a sitemap generator is useful in the same sense.

 

But, assuming you have done your homework and your website is error-free how is a sitemap to do wonders for your SEO efforts?  Is it going to make google pay attention any faster, make your key phrases show higher, what???



#4 qwerty

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 07:36 AM

It's like the priority you set for a given page. At my last job, we went through a lot getting that right, and I doubt it made any real difference. If you want a page crawled more, link to it more than others. And you don't really need it crawled more unless it gets updated more often, and if you're updating it regularly, a bot's going to see that and crawl it more often. That's obviously more important than setting its priority higher in the sitemap.



#5 Jill

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 09:17 PM

I'm with you bobmeeting. I can't say as I've ever submitted a sitemap in my life. 






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