I had a client ask me about sitemaps today, and I thought I would share with the world the results I found. Unless you are doing Search Engine Optimization, or Internet Marketing, you probably don’t need to know about them, but if you want to be found on the internet for your keywords, you better have one.
There are many free places on the web you can create sitemaps, and within WordPress sites you should a free plugin that automatically updates it as you add post. This is key, as Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines needs to know about these new pages.
I hope this answers some of your questions, please feel free to leave a legitimate reply, but as I have 30k pending submissions, I may not see it. You might want to drop me a line and let me know its there, lol…
Sitemaps are a way to tell Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines about pages on your site we might not otherwise discover. In its simplest terms, a XML Sitemap—usually called Sitemap, with a capital S—is a list of the pages on your website. Creating and submitting a Sitemap helps make sure that Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines knows about all the pages on your site, including URLs that may not be discoverable by Search Engines normal crawling process.
You can create a Sitemap based on the Sitemap protocol, or you can submit a text file or RSS/Atom feed as a Sitemap. How to create a Sitemap. In addition, you can also use Sitemaps to provide Search Engines with metadata about specific types of content on your site, including video, images, mobile, News, and software source code. For example, a video Sitemap entry can specify the running time, category, and family-friendly status of a video; an image Sitemap entry can provide information about an image’s subject matter, type, and license. You can also use a Sitemap to provide additional information about your site, such as the date it was last updated, and how often you expect the page to change.
We recommend that you use a separate Sitemap to submit News information. Sitemaps are particularly helpful if: Your site has dynamic content. Your site has pages that aren’t easily discovered by Googlebot during the crawl process—for example, pages featuring rich AJAX or images. Your site is new and has few links to it. (Googlebot crawls the web by following links from one page to another, so if your site isn’t well linked, it may be hard for us to discover it.) Your site has a large archive of content pages that are not well linked to each other, or are not linked at all.
Google doesn’t guarantee that we’ll crawl or index all of your URLs. However, we use the data in your Sitemap to learn about your site’s structure, which will allow us to improve our crawler schedule and do a better job crawling your site in the future. In most cases, webmasters will benefit from Sitemap submission, and in no case will you be penalized for it. Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines adhere to Sitemap Protocol 0.9 as defined by sitemaps.org. Sitemaps created for Search Engines using Sitemap Protocol 0.9 are therefore compatible with most other search engines that adopt the standards of sitemaps.org.