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Will you use a sitemap?

Discussion in 'Google Sitemaps' started by sarahk, Jun 5, 2005.

?

I'll add a sitemap to my site...

Poll closed Jul 5, 2005.
  1. It's done already

    37 vote(s)
    56.1%
  2. It's a priority for this week

    4 vote(s)
    6.1%
  3. I'll do it but it's not a priority

    17 vote(s)
    25.8%
  4. I'm going to wait until a hack is available for my site's software

    3 vote(s)
    4.5%
  5. I'm going to wait until everyone else has given feedback on their experiences

    4 vote(s)
    6.1%
  6. It's a load of nonsense and won't gain widespread acceptance

    1 vote(s)
    1.5%
  7. I don't really understand what's going on!

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. minstrel

    minstrel Illustrious Member

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    #21
    DA, this thread is (I assume) about the new Google Sitemaps Beta.

    But I'm still not sure what advantage the Google "beta" has over a standard text-link-based sitemap linked from the home page, at least for most websites. It may be a more efficient way of launching a new site than the "Google Submit" page but other than that, what?
    SEMrush
    See also http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=17668
     
    minstrel, Jun 5, 2005 IP
    SEMrush
  2. Solicitors Mortgages

    Solicitors Mortgages Well-Known Member

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    #22
    all this talk about site maps on your site.....

    whats the most links you can put on a one page site map?

    is there any value splitting a site map into 50 pages?
     
    Solicitors Mortgages, Jun 5, 2005 IP
  3. Phoenix Arizona

    Phoenix Arizona Peon

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    #23
    Hi Sarah,

    Funny thing is, as obvious as one would think a site map is, I just made one for my site about two months ago. Duh.
     
    Phoenix Arizona, Jun 5, 2005 IP
  4. minstrel

    minstrel Illustrious Member

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    #24
    Google recommends no more than 100 links on a page.

    I don't know why you'd need 50 pages of sitemaps but if you have more than 100 pages you can divide them into logical or topical categories:

    home page -> sitemap

    sitemap -> cat1 -> pages in cat1
    sitemap -> cat3 -> pages in cat2
    sitemap -> cat3 -> pages in cat3

    etc.
     
    minstrel, Jun 5, 2005 IP
  5. Solicitors Mortgages

    Solicitors Mortgages Well-Known Member

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    #25
    minstrel.. in your opinion...would i need a site map then?
    what you described sounds like my actual site navigation

    home page to 12 regions, 12 regions to ~50 towns, each town to 50+ pages
    ...and linked back home again.

    having a moment :eek: ... cant seem to get my head around this

    home page -> sitemap sitemap -> cat1 -> pages in cat1
    home page -> region region -> town -> pages in town
     
    Solicitors Mortgages, Jun 5, 2005 IP
  6. minstrel

    minstrel Illustrious Member

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    #26
    Is it necessary? Perhaps not in most cases. But it won't hurt and it may help, depending on how your navigation links work and how the navigation is set up. I used to have a suspicion that some spiders would look for "sitemap" the way they look for robots.txt, although I will admit that the suspicion is only that, not based on any actual evidence, and may therefore be mere superstition.

    What I usually recommend is creating a page with the filename sitemap.htm(l) with a text link to that page from the footer of the home page. Then, ALL the links from sitemap.htm(l) are set up as text links, as are links on any tertiary pages.

    The other thing is, if possible, keep at least all your important pages with the first 3 levels of the navigation hierarchy (where home page is level 1, so no page is more than 2 clicks away from the home page). If you need to bump any pages to a lower level, make sure they are supplemental/secondary in importance.
     
    minstrel, Jun 5, 2005 IP
  7. New Jersey Home Inspector

    New Jersey Home Inspector Grunt

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    #27
    As a non techie I can't for the life of me figure out how to implement the site map.

    I would be happy to pay for assistance in setting the site map function for my web site.

    Anyone interested please PM me with a cost payable via PayPals.


    Thanks,

    Michael
     
  8. minstrel

    minstrel Illustrious Member

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    #28
    See my post above, Michael. Perhaps wait a bit before you put out any real moneyt. The actual advantage may be negligible and even as a "non-techie" you should be able to rather easily add a regular sitemap as I described in my previous post (#26).
     
    minstrel, Jun 5, 2005 IP
  9. dcristo

    dcristo Illustrious Member

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    #29
    Michael,

    Whipping up a sitemap is pretty straight forward even for us non-techies :D

    As the name implies it maps to your entire site on the one page (or numerous pages if you have a huge site) Create a page named sitemap.html (or something similar) and link to every page on your site in a logical order. It's as easy as that. Make sure you link to your sitemap page from your home page, or it defeats the whole purpose of creating it. You want to make it easy for the search engine crawlers to come along and find every page on your site.
     
    dcristo, Jun 5, 2005 IP
  10. jlawrence

    jlawrence Peon

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    #30
    I'm glad people think creating a sitemap is straight forward - take a dynamically created site of iro 30K pages and creating a sitemap becomes very time consuming.
    Even running something like sitemapper take me over 30 minutes to map the site.
     
    jlawrence, Jun 5, 2005 IP
  11. minstrel

    minstrel Illustrious Member

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    #31
    Yes but you're hardly describing an average site, jlawrence. And, as you note, there are programs to do it for you if you have a site like yours.

    Xenu Links Checker will also create a sitemap for you if you wish, and it's free.
     
    minstrel, Jun 5, 2005 IP
  12. jlawrence

    jlawrence Peon

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    #32
    I would have thought that quite a lot of us have at least one affiliate site that's in excess of 10K pages with many running to more than 50K.
    I'm in the process of trying to put together a comparison type site - which compares product prices from numerous affiliate feeds. I dread to think how many pages that's going to come to. It's also going to need a heck of a lot of IBL's to be effective, I'm sure it'll be fun to do ;)
     
    jlawrence, Jun 5, 2005 IP
  13. minstrel

    minstrel Illustrious Member

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    #33
    Maybe that's where Google's Sitemaps feature will come in handy, especially if automated. I'm still having difficulty seeing an advantage for most sites.
     
    minstrel, Jun 5, 2005 IP
  14. jlawrence

    jlawrence Peon

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    #34
    I'm also not sure of how useful it'll be.
    I can see a use with regards to new sites as it makes the spider's just a little easier. But for already established sites, I'm dubious as to it's uses.
     
    jlawrence, Jun 5, 2005 IP
  15. dazzlindonna

    dazzlindonna Peon

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    #35
    I think some of you are confusing the average, everyday sitemaps of old with what this thread is actually about...Google Sitemaps. The difference is that Google Sitemaps (the xml variety) has other sometimes useful parameters on them, other than just the urls. Such as how often each url is updated, and how important each url is in relation to the other urls. Granted, a small site with simple, static pages probably doesn't need this (or even the old-style sitemap, for that matter). But for large and/or dynamic sites that are having trouble getting ALL their pages indexed by Google, this is G's answer to solving that problem.
     
    dazzlindonna, Jun 5, 2005 IP
  16. Cheater

    Cheater Peon

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    #36
    I'm mainly using the Sitemap to allow Google to crawl my site more efficently.

    E.g. The more active pages are crawled hourly while the less active are weekly.

    This is pretty easy to do with a database driven site.
     
    Cheater, Jun 5, 2005 IP
  17. dfsweb

    dfsweb Active Member

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    #37
    I agree. Webmasters imo should use a site map for huge sites to ensure that all their pages are found and cached by Google and as a result get PageRanked. But, my photography site for example only has under 10 main pages and they are all interlinked to each other. The other sub-pages are linked from the image gallery pages that are PR4 and are cached on a regular basis and are PRed as well. So, I wouldn't use a site map for this site.

    My directory on the other hand is set-up so that all category and sub-category pages are linked from the home page. I had done this to ensure that the category pages and sub-category pages get the maximum PR from the home page and the people who list their site with me get maximum traffic and PR benefits. Once again, I wouldn't set-up a site map for this site.

    But, I would highly recommend a site-map for either webmasters with huge sites OR webmasters who have just introduced a new site. They could place a temporary site-map linked directly from the home page with links to all their pages. This would ensure that when Google comes around it would cache maximum pages from the site even though the site might be fairly new and only being cached once in a few weeks.
     
    dfsweb, Jun 5, 2005 IP
  18. minstrel

    minstrel Illustrious Member

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    #38
    I think so too... see post #21 in this thread.

    I think this is probably true -- the average site, even one with well-optimized dynamic pages, probably isn't going to see much difference.
     
    minstrel, Jun 5, 2005 IP
  19. Cheater

    Cheater Peon

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    #39
    Yeah it wont affect crawling patterns but it does allow you to edit Google's crawling patterns if you want.

    Its very useful for me because one of my sites grows faster than Google can crawl it.
    This makes sure that Google knows what has to be crawled instead of finding new links as it goes.
     
    Cheater, Jun 5, 2005 IP
  20. ZuraX

    ZuraX Active Member

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    #40
    Is there a free Google SiteMap Generator? One that will let you put in the main URL and it makes the XML file?
     
    ZuraX, Jun 6, 2005 IP