Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sitemap FAQs

FAQs about Sitemaps

Q: I submitted a Sitemap, but my URLs haven't been [crawled/indexed] yet. Isn't that what a Sitemap is for?
A: Submitting a Sitemap helps you make sure Google knows about the URLs on your site. It is not, however, a guarantee that those URLs will be crawled or indexed.

Q: If it doesn't get me automatically crawled and indexed, what does a Sitemap do?
A: Sitemaps give information to Google to help us better understand your site.

Q: Will a Sitemap help me rank better?
A: A Sitemap does not affect the actual ranking of your pages.

Q: If I set all of my pages to have priority 1.0, will that make them rank higher (or get crawled faster) than someone else's pages that have priority 0.8?
A: No.

Q: Is there any point in submitting a Sitemap if all the metadata (, , etc.) is the same for each URL, or if I'm not sure it's accurate?
A: If the value of a particular tag is the same for 100% of the URLs in your Sitemap, you don't need to include that tag in your Sitemap.

Q: I've heard about people who submitted a Sitemap and got penalized shortly afterward. Can a Sitemap hurt you?
A: Google does not penalize you for submitting a Sitemap.

Q: Where can I put my Sitemap? Does it have to be at the root of my site?
A: Google recently enabled Sitemap cross-submissions, which means that you can put your Sitemap just about anywhere as long as you have the following sites verified in your Webmaster Tools account.

Q: Can I just submit the site map that my webmaster made of my site? I don't get this whole XML thing.
A: There's a difference between a (usually HTML) site map built to help humans navigate around your site, and an XML Sitemap built for search engines.

Q: Which Sitemap format is the best?
A: Google recommend the XML Sitemap protocol as defined by sitemaps.org.

Q: If I have multiple URLs that point to the same content, can I use my Sitemap to indicate my preferred URL for that content?
A: Yes.

Q: Does the placement of a URL within a Sitemap file matter? Will the URLs at the beginning of the file get better treatment than the URLs near the end?
A: No, and no.

Q: If my site has multiple sections (e.g. a blog, a forum, and a photo gallery), should I submit one Sitemap for the site, or multiple Sitemaps (one for each section)?
A: You may submit as few or as many Sitemaps as you like (up to these limits).

If your question isn't covered here, you can find even more questions and answers in Sitemaps Help Group.

Affordable SEO - Tushar.

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