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Thread: Sitemaps Questions

  1. #1
    1901gt is offline Web Designer
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    Sitemaps Questions

    Question 1
    Are Sitemaps important? Does every websites need to have Sitemaps?

    Question 2
    I know there's a sitemap plugin for wordpress. But what about normal static (HTML) websites with 50 overs pages? How do you create a Sitemap for such website? Can it be generated automatically? Or it must be manually done?


  2. #2
    Will.Spencer's Avatar
    Will.Spencer is offline Retired
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1901gt View Post
    I know there's a sitemap plugin for wordpress. But what about normal static (HTML) websites with 50 overs pages? How do you create a Sitemap for such website? Can it be generated automatically? Or it must be manually done?
    There are a lot of utilities for creating sitemaps.

    I was using a Python script to create sitemaps for my sites, but I stopped.

    Why did I stop? Because my sites are well designed for crawlability. They don't need sitemaps. Very very few sites will benefit from sitemaps.

    Sitemaps don't help you rank, they just help Googlebot (etc...) crawl you. However, unless your site is poorly designed, it should be easily crawlable.

    If your site is that poorly designed, you probably have bigger problems.
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    elbandelero is offline Net Builder
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will.Spencer View Post
    There are a lot of utilities for creating sitemaps.

    I was using a Python script to create sitemaps for my sites, but I stopped.

    Why did I stop? Because my sites are well designed for crawlability. They don't need sitemaps. Very very few sites will benefit from sitemaps.

    Sitemaps don't help you rank, they just help Googlebot (etc...) crawl you. However, unless your site is poorly designed, it should be easily crawlable.

    If your site is that poorly designed, you probably have bigger problems.
    Will could you define easily crawlable? Let me give a basic example of a site I tend to create, HTML only with main pages all linked from the home page, and less important pages linked from the main headings, so all pages accessible in two clicks. Would a site like this benefit or not benefit from a sitemap, or should I only consider the sitemap page useful for visitors who perhaps haven't the time or inclination to visit the main pages, ie they want to find everything from the landing page?

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    Will.Spencer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elbandelero View Post
    Will could you define easily crawlable?
    It's easier to define the negative. A site that isn't easily crawlable is one that uses scripted links or places content online without linking to it at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by elbandelero View Post
    Let me give a basic example of a site I tend to create, HTML only with main pages all linked from the home page, and less important pages linked from the main headings, so all pages accessible in two clicks.
    That sounds extremely crawlable.

    Quote Originally Posted by elbandelero View Post
    Would a site like this benefit or not benefit from a sitemap, or should I only consider the sitemap page useful for visitors who perhaps haven't the time or inclination to visit the main pages, ie they want to find everything from the landing page?
    Ahh... now we're switching topics.

    Before we were talking in the context of XML sitemaps for search engines. HTML sitemaps for humans are a different topic entirely.

    An HTML sitemap should be, IMHO, built by hand and should only list the important content that you want people to find. It should be less of a list of links and more of a descriptive and helpful guide for the visitor.

    My sites tend not to benefit from these types of sitemaps, because I focus so hard on the menus being the sitemaps. But... that's changing as I start to experiment with other designs.

    Another benefit of this type of sitemap is that you can use it to point visitors to your higher-CPM pages.
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    elbandelero (8 February, 2009)

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    Lightbulb

    I believe that XML sitemap still gives benefits to your website to some point. I mean, in my case everytime I add new post in my blog, the xml sitemap plugins automatically build/update a xml sitemap and notify search engines right away. As a result my new post will appear in SE within hours. Well I am not sure if it also because I ping a considerable amount of servers as well

    Cheers,

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    stickycarrots's Avatar
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    For static HTML pages I suggest you try out XML-Sitemaps. I've used it successfully on many of my sites. I posted about some Wordpress SEO Plugins you might want to check out as well.

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    Will.Spencer (8 February, 2009)

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    To add to stickies post if you have more then 500 pages then you can use this other Online Sitemap Generator works good used to be mine. I have released the script it uses as a freebie someplace on this forum

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    Will.Spencer (8 February, 2009)

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    LogicFlux is offline Newbie Net Builder
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    One experiment found that sitemaps help to get your content crawled and indexed quicker using the Google XML Sitemaps Generator plugin. But there are also contradicting experiences if you google the subject.

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    I agree with Will. You do not need a sitemap if the site is designed with a good internal linking structure. That generally means that any page can be reached within 3 clicks or less from the home page.

    WordPress blogs have a naturally good linking structure with multiple paths to any page.

    I've used sitemaps on some sites and not on others and all of my sites are spidered very quickly. I usually tell clients who ask about it to consider a sitemap once a site contains more than 100 pages or content pages start to get buried more than 3 clicks deep. The 100 pages is just an arbitrary figure because I have rarely seen spiderability problems with any properly site with less than 100 pages.

    If a site is designed properly, a sitemap doesn't offer any benefit for small sites.

    The XML-Sitemaps online tool that stickycarrots mentioned is a very easy tool to use, but if you are going to use a manual online sitemap generator, make sure that you update it every time you add a page.

    More often than not, indexing probelms for a new site are more related to lack of links to a site. The more links to your site from sites that get spidered often, the more often you will see spiders visiting your site.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TopDogger View Post
    I agree with Will. You do not need a sitemap if the site is designed with a good internal linking structure. That generally means that any page can be reached within 3 clicks or less from the home page.

    WordPress blogs have a naturally good linking structure with multiple paths to any page.

    I've used sitemaps on some sites and not on others and all of my sites are spidered very quickly. I usually tell clients who ask about it to consider a sitemap once a site contains more than 100 pages or content pages start to get buried more than 3 clicks deep. The 100 pages is just an arbitrary figure because I have rarely seen spiderability problems with any properly site with less than 100 pages.

    If a site is designed properly, a sitemap doesn't offer any benefit for small sites.

    The XML-Sitemaps online tool that stickycarrots mentioned is a very easy tool to use, but if you are going to use a manual online sitemap generator, make sure that you update it every time you add a page.

    More often than not, indexing probelms for a new site are more related to lack of links to a site. The more links to your site from sites that get spidered often, the more often you will see spiders visiting your site.
    I've found that my new pages are indexed really quickly (within an hour if that) on my blog and I have a feeling that's because my sitemap is trusted by Google and when I ping with my seo plugins Google comes running.

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