Getting Google to love you

SEO For EverybodyChris Pearson, the qualified mechanical engineer turned perfectionist website designer has written a couple of great posts over on his increasingly popular blog, on the subject of SEO.

In the first two articles of his five part series he discusses the importance of sitemaps. To sum up his articles in one sentence:

Sitemaps are vitally important in getting properly indexed by the big search engines.

Both of the articles come with wordpress plugins to generate yummy sitemaps for Google at the click of a button. Another reason to move to wordpress!

After asking Chris why we need both sitemap generators, 1 x xml sitemap and 1 x xhtml sitemap, he replied:

The XML sitemap is a tool that is specifically designed to help Google (and other search engines) refine how often it should crawl your site.

Here’s what Google says about XML sitemaps:

By submitting a Sitemap file, you can take control of the first part of the crawling/indexing processes: our discovery of the pages.

This may be particularly helpful if your site has dynamic content, pages that aren’t easily discovered by following links, or if your site is new and has few links to it.

The XHTML sitemap, on the other hand, serves two purposes:

  1. It ensures that all the pages of your site are interlinked (which Google says is helpful for crawling).
  2. 2. It can serve as a useful tool for users, especially if they can’t find what they’re looking for through any other avenue of discovery.

So hurry along to <a href="; title="Pearsonified" target="_blank"his blog, read the articles, install the plugins, and see what extra Google traffic comes your way.

2 responses

  1. I read the article and agree (somewhat) – but it’s not meant for everyone. If you have a basic site with easy-to-follow navigation and no “2nd or 3rd tier… you really have no need to supply a sitemap as it will just be a duplication on yr navigation.

    Also with user journeys in mind, as a web designer one needs to cater to various aspects of the human psyche… like curiosity. Site maps are really only for sites which are either very complex or used for business purposes where the user needs to access content in less than two clicks and not get lost in a maze of irrelevant content.

  2. Hey Gideon,

    I do get your point, but I think you have overlooked the heading of this post, “Getting Google to love you”.

    Chris does ramble off the advantages, for the website users, of having a sitemap on your site. Some of which are debatable like you said, but his series of articles are focussed on Site Engine Optimization. Not so much pleasing your readers, but pleasing the search engines, which in turn send more readers your way.

    I think pleasing the search engines is something everyone should wants to do. Therefore I would disagree and say this is meant for everyone.

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