Google Sitemaps enables Webmasters to Directly Alert
Google to Changes and Additions on a Website and that's
just one of 7 Benefits.
Telling search engines about new pages or new websites
use to be what the submission process was all about.
But major search engines stopped using that process
a long time ago.
Google has for a long time depended on external links
from pages they already know about in order to find
For webmasters and website owners Google Sitemaps is
the most important development since RSS or Blog and
Ping, to hit the Internet.
Using RSS and Blog and Ping enabled webmasters to alert
the search engines to new additions to their web pages
even though that was not the primary purpose of these
If you've ever waited weeks or months to get your web
pages found and indexed you'll know how excited we webmasters
get when someone discovers a new way to get your web
pages found quicker.
Well that new way has just arrived in Google Sitemaps
and it's a whole lot simpler than setting up an RSS
feed or Blog and Ping. If you haven't heard of Blog
and Ping it's a means by which it's possible to alert
the search engines to crawl your new website content
within a matter of hours.
If you're a webmaster or website owner Google Sitemaps
is something you can't afford to ignore, even if you're
also using RSS and/or Blog and Ping
The reason you should start using Google Sitemaps is
that it's designed solely to alert and direct Google
Search Engine crawlers to your web pages. RSS and Blog
and Ping are indirect methods to alert search engines,
but it's not there primary purpose.
It works now, but like most things it's becoming abused.
Search Engines will find ways to combat the abuse as
they've done with every other form of abuse that's gone
Abusing the search engines is a short term not a long
term strategy and in some cases certain forms of abuse
will get you banned from a search engines index.
You may also be thinking, don't we already have web
page meta tags that tell a search engine when to revisit
a page. That's true, but the search engine spider still
has to find the new page first, before it can read the
meta tag. Besides that meta tags are out of favour with
many search engines especially Google, because of abuse.
If talk of search engine spiders leaves you confused,
they're nothing more than software programs that electronically
scour the Internet visiting web sites looking for changes
and new pages.
How often the search engine spider alias robot, visits
your website depends on how often your site content
is updated, or you alert them to a change. Otherwise
for a search engine like Google they may only visit
a website once a month.
As the internet gets bigger every second of every day,
the problem for search engines and webmasters is becoming
evidently greater. For the search engines it's taking
their search spiders longer to crawl the web for new
sites or updates to existing ones.
For the webmaster it's taking longer and becoming more
difficult to get web pages found and indexed by the
If you can't get web pages found and indexed by search
engines, your pages will never be found in a search
and you'll get no visitors from search engines to those
The answer to this problem at least for Google is Google
Whilst still only in a beta phase while Google refines
the process, it's fully expected that this system, or
one very similar, is here to stay.
Google Sitemaps is clearly a win-win situation
Google wins because it reduces the huge waste of their
resources to crawl web sites that have not changed.
Webmasters win because they alert Google through Google
Sitemaps what changes or new content has been added
to a website and direct Google's crawlers to the exact
Google Sitemaps has the potential to speed up the process
of discovery and addition of pages to Google's index
for any webmaster that uses Google Sitemaps.
Conventional sitemaps have been used by webmasters
for quite some time to allow the easier crawling of
their websites by the search engine spiders. This type
of sitemap is a directory of all pages on the website
that the webmaster wants the search engines or visitors
Without sitemaps a webmaster runs the risk of webpage's
being difficult to find by the search engine crawlers,
or never being found at all.
Do I need Google Sitemaps if I already have sitemaps
on my websites ?
Google Sitemaps are different to conventional sitemaps
because they're only seen by the Search Engine Spiders
and not human visitors. Google Sitemaps also contain
information that's only of value to the search engine
in a format they understand.
Creating Google Sitemaps in 5 steps
1. Create Google Sitemaps in a supported format ( see
end of article )
2. Upload Google Sitemaps to your Web Hosting space
3. Register for a free Google Account if you don't
already have one
4. Login to your Google Sitemaps Account and submit
the location of your sitemaps
5. Update your Sitemaps when your site changes and
Resubmit it to Google
From your Google Sitemaps account you can also see
when your sitemap was last updated and when Google downloaded
it for processing. It will also tell you if there were
any problems found with your sitemaps.
Google Sitemaps can be used with commercial or non-commercial
websites, those with a single webpage, through to sites
with millions of constantly updated pages. However a
single Google Sitemaps file is limited to 50,000 web
pages. For websites with more pages, another Google
Sitemaps file must be created for each block of 50,000
If you want Google to crawl more of your pages and
alert them when content on your site changes, you should
be using Google Sitemaps. The other added benefit is
If you're expecting this special alert process with
Google Sitemaps to improve your Page Rank, change the
way Google ranks your web pages, or in any way guarantee
inclusion of your web pages, Google has made it clear
it will make no difference.
Google Sitemaps web pages are still subject to the
same rules as non Google Sitemaps pages.
If your site has dynamic content or pages that aren't
easily discovered by following links, Google Sitemaps
will allow spiders to know what URLs are available and
how often page content changes.
Google has said that Google Sitemaps is not a replacement
for the normal crawling of web pages and websites as
that will continue in the conventional way. Google Sitemaps
does however allow the search engine to do a better
job of crawling your site.
The Google Sitemap Protocol is an XML file containing
a list of the URLs on a site. It also tells the search
engine when each page was last updated, how often each
page changes and how important each page is in relation
to other web pages in the site.
Google Sitemaps 7 Benefits You Can't Ignore
1. Alert Google to Changes and Additions to your Website
Anytime You Want
2. Your Website is crawled more Efficiently and Effectively
3. Web Pages are Categorized and Prioritized exactly
How You Want
4. Speed up the process of New Website and New Web
5. No Waiting and Guessing to see when Spiders crawl
your web pages
6. Google Sitemaps is likely to set the standard for
Webpage Submission and Update Notification which will
extend the benefits to other Search Engines
7. The Google Sitemaps service is Free
Exactly how to create a Google Sitemaps file to upload
to your website is in the continuing part of this article
in Google Sitemaps.
About the author:
Tony Simpson is a Web Designer and Search Engine Optimizer
who brings a touch of reality to building a Web Business.
He also provides advice on Website Automation at http://www.webpageaddons.com
How to create Google Sitemaps is in the continuing part
of this article at http://www.webpageaddons.com/stp/googlesitemap