Everybody knows that getting indexed in Google is getting more and more difficult each day and every body is looking for that edge over the competition.
Most “white hat” SEO’s frown upon methods like cloaking, blog and ping and other such “black hat” techniques and never had any special technique that they could use to help get their pages indexed better.
Well, presenting Google Sitemaps, Googles latest offering which is still in the beta stage, and which won’t make the purists frown.
Google sitemaps is a service that allows webmasters to define how often their sites’ content is going to change, which is supposed to give Google a better idea of what pages to index.
By placing a specially formatted XML file on your web server, you inform Google of whenever your pages change, and then the googlebot crawls the updated pages making the necessary updates to its database.
Google has provided the format your xml file has to be in at https://www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/docs/en/protocol.html
An interesting point is that the xml file has 2 tags, changefreq and priority with which you can also indicate how important each page is, and how frequently the page changes.
The valid values for changefreq are “always”, “hourly”, “daily”, “weekly”, “monthly”, “yearly” and “never” and similarly the priority can vary from 0.0 to 1.0, where 0.0 identifies the lowest priority page(s) on your site and 1.0 identifies the highest priority page(s) on your site.
Once you have the xml file in place on your server, you need to inform Google about it by opening this URL in your browser
where the URL part in the above URL should be the URL-encoded location of your Sitemaps xml file.
Now Google has provided an open source script that will automatically generate the xml file for you. The only drawback being its in a scripting language called Python.
There are however several Free Third Party scripts and tools available.
1)Softplus GSiteCrawler: This is a windows software and is extremely easy to use.It has been coded in Visual Basic 6.0.
2)SiteMaps Pal: This is a online service that generates the sitemap for you.It has a limit of 1000 links. So if you web site has more than 1000 links, this won’t work for you.
3)Google Sitemap Generator: This is another free online sitemap creator.This service lets you crawl sites 3 levels deep and limits the number of links to 400.
4)phpSitemapNG from enarion: This is a php script that you need to upload to the root of your web site and the script generates the sitemap file on the server.
It also lets you submit the sitemap to Google by clicking a link.
The drawback of this script is that you will need to upload it to each of your sites and it also doesn’t recognize subdomains.
5)Google Sitemap Generator for Dreamweaver: This dreamweaver extension by George Petrov lets you quickly create Google Sitemaps for your dreamweaver sites.
6)Google Sitemap Generator for WordPress: Here is a plugin for wordpress users
7) SecretSpider generator: This is a paid software priced at $97. Its advantages are that it also lets you gzip the xml file thereby making it smaller in size.
So, go ahead and make your website more Google-friendly.
About The Author Satyajeet Hattangadi is the Owner of Novasoft Inc http://www.novasoft-inc.com/products.asp , creators of Adsense Cloaker , a unique php script that hides your adsense ads from the robots and helps prevent re-indexing by yahoo.
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