Wednesday, July 06, 2005

More Sitemaps Nonsense

In a recent feature article of the SiteProNews newsletter, Titus Hoskins generates more nonsense about the new Google Sitemaps initiative, contributing further to the average Webmaster’s already inflated expectations of the program. And all this in an attempt to peddle some third party sitemap generators!

I quote from near the top:

Google has recently implemented a program where any webmaster can create a Sitemap of their Site and submit it for indexing by Google. It is a quick and easy way for you to keep your site constantly indexed and updated in Google.
There is no “quick and easy way for you to keep your site constantly indexed and updated in Google” and Google Sitemaps doesn’t promise that at all. It’s this kind of talk that’s caused a lot of disillusioned Webmasters to actually turn on Google and accuse them of all sorts. Some are actually convinced that the whole thing is nothing but spyware! Trust me, it isn’t but it ain’t no magic bullet either.

But even on the technical side, Titus is extremely lackadaisical by dishing out some advice that actually could get unsuspecting newcomers into trouble! Titus suggests Luddites should use web based spidering applications that automatically crawl your entire domain and build a Google Sitemaps conform map, ready for submission.

Well, the path of least resistance usually leads to the trashcan and it’s no different here. Blindly including all your stuff in the sitemap is a recipe for including stuff that:

1. has no valid reason or use to be in Google’s index (password protected pages, most images and lots more). Only pages that might actually get found in the SERPs will benefit you.

2. you really don’t want Google to see (redirects and such like, perhaps even sneakier stuff...)

Some GS users have complained that they’ve lost pages in the Google index after submitting a Google Sitemap. That may well be due to incorrect use of the technology, in particular by inadvertently helping Google find parts of your site you normally wouldn’t want them to see! Automatic solutions have their drawbacks too.

I quote from near the end of the article:

Google is still the major search engine on the web so getting your pages indexed and updated quickly is the major reason to use Google Sitemaps. If you want your site to remain competitive it's probably the wisest route to take.

Titus: shut up.

Learn more about what to really expect (and what not) from the Google Sitemaps program.



At 2:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where is your love for Google? Not a big fan of their Sitemap program huh?

At 3:07 PM, Blogger Gert said...

My "love for Google" is as a searcher, not as a webmaster.

"Not a big fan of their Sitemap program huh?"

I'm not a fan of anyone who makes unjustified positive (or very negative) claims about GS, just to get some attention.

GS actually does work, but there really is only so much you can expect from it... That's a fair comment, as far as I'm concerned.


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