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Tip Tuesday: The Power of Sitemaps

XML Sitemaps for Google, Yahoo and BingSitemaps have been around for sometime now. They started off as a standard page on a web site that basically gave you a list of the pages parked on the domain. It then became a valuable tool to submit to the search engines to have your pages indexed. Now they’ve gotten to the point where you can create an XML file and upload to directly to the major search engines for crawling and indexing. So what’s next for the sitemap era?

XML Sitemaps are Your Web Sites Best Friend

When XML Sitemaps were introduced many were confused as to what it was and what it could do for your web site. Once they realized it was a special file you uploaded directly to the major search engines for a direct crawl, it became a mandatory file created when building a web site. It’s come a long way and even the those with the smallest knowledge of the Internet know what they are. But it goes beyond the traditional XML Sitemap now and days. You have a few options that different tasks within the search engines. They are all designed to more or less bring attention to the content and links that placed within file and tell the search engines what to crawl, when to crawl it, and how often they should come back and check for fresh content. As soon as you upload the files, you should be able to see how many links were indexed versus how many links your XML Sitemap has. As you add pages to your web site, you will need to go back and update the XML Sitemap and re submit it to the search engines. If you have a WordPress blog with the XML Sitemap plug0in, it will be updated when ever you create a new blog post of page.

A List of Sitemaps You Should Use

XML Sitemap: As I mentioned above, an ML Sitemap gives you the ability to submit your web sites url’s directly to the search engines for immediate crawl and indexing. This sitemap is also great for getting pages indexed that are too deep for the search engine crawlers to find when they visit your web site. You can also include images on your web site in the sitemap as well giving your images the ability to be indexed within the image search on the major search engines.

Geo Sitemap: A Geo Sitemap allows you to tell Google that you are really at the location you say your are. This sitemap gives validity to your Google Paces account and other web sites that allow you to display your location information. When you submit this sitemap, the crawlers will remember your location and match it with any other source online you’ve placed your businesses address.

Video Sitemap: A Video Sitemap tells crawlers like Google’s that their are videos on your web site and you want them indexed and found within the search engines. Google gives special attention to video content and usually displays video search results at the top of the page when you perform a search for your key terms. If there are videos that relate to your search, you will see them at the top of the search results.

Google News Sitemap: The news sitemap allows you to submit your news articles to Google and control what content is seen and indexed. If you do not already have one, you can view the Google News Sitemap guidelines and create one for your site.

These sitemaps will help your web site to be indexed quicker in the search engines and create different powerful avenues for your site to be found in the major search engines.

We would love to hear from you. Leave comments if you have any ideas to add or just cause you like the post!

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