Google sitemaps

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Google eyes One way to optimise your site for Google driven search engines is to create a Google Sitemap.

You can use Google’s script to do this automatically by running it on your (host’s) server using Python or you can create a sitemap manually with an xml page. Including valid xml tag definitions is a sure way to improve the validity of search results.

This is an example of how the xml page is structured:

<urlset xmlns="http://www.google.com/schemas/sitemap/0.84">
<url>
<loc>http://www.example.com/
<lastmod>2005-01-01
<changefreq>monthly
<priority>0.8

Google have a sitemap validation tool available from their support page.

Once you have created a sitemap you need to log in to a google account and find the webmasters area. There you will submit the sitemap address and verify site ownership. Once you do that Google offer the GooglAnalytics information ( Query stats | Crawl stats | Page analysis | Index stats | HTTP errors | Unreachable URLs | URLs restricted by robots.txt | URLs not followed | URLs timed out ).

Search engines are increasingly an important marketing tool for all business - especially those who's brand is not widely known. Appropriate keywords, content and one-way links from high pagerank sites are the main factors for success.

Other factors include:

  • The way a site's mark=up (HTML) is structured is important. Using the page title and heading tags (H1, H2 etc.
  • The way the site is linked together - ie. the navigation system and internal links within the content help if done well
  • URLs for variables (e.g. site?p=page1) are disliked by search engines.
  • Using frames is a bad idea.
  • The amount of time the domain has been in use (by the current owner - google checks this) is a factor.
  • The frequency it's modified.
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