WordPress Your Sitemap and Google | MindVisionMedia.net:
Hello to all from Allan at MindVisionMedia.net and I hope this post finds you well.
Few realize the importance of your sitemap when it comes to Google. The sitemap, for those who are not familiar, is a file that tells Google or some other company, what pages to “fetch” or scan on your website from time to time and it represents a tree or directory to the pages most important in your site to your visitors. This file has(usually XML) ahs more than one purpose, it assists in updating the search engines and helps people find you based on your content. This process involves repeated scans or “fetches” by Google which are set at an interval you can modify if needed.
The other purpose of directing your visitors to the pages they want or your sites map, is performed by the same file but displays in a browsers window as the result of a link or button being pressed. One function performs behind the scenes with Google and the other performs on screen as a tool or guide to find your content.
There are many sitemap Plugins that zip out a sitemap for your site or Blog, but you’ll want to edit or take the time before-hand to set up some limits before creating the sitemap. The most common form is an XML file but some programs offer a choice of XML or HTML. I use an HTML version for my site visitors and an XML version for Google.
The power of the sitemap is in adding instructions that tell the search engine when and how to check for updates in your content, by date, frequency, by category, by specific page or post, etc. The point here is to make sure you are not including pages that don’t relate to your target market directly and maximize the intent of the sitemap to make these Google fetches targeted and effective.
You don’t want Google indexing your contact page, image galleries, pages not complete yet or made public, or your privacy statements when there are other more pertinent pages or posts that directly relate to your target niche. Look at these scans by Google as wasted because Google scanned unnecessary content for nothing, Nada, zilch, of zero benefit to you or I or more importantly, our site. This includes any information (pages, posts, media file pages, etc) that don’t help your search ranking or your seekers find you for the information they need.
Another negative affect to having Google fetch a bunch of extra pages or every page in your site is the impact on your sites resources! That’s right, each fetch generates queries in your database. Your query limits could possibly be affected, compiling any other burdens on the database currently by having a bloated sitemap in combination with a high fetch rate. You may be faced with a slow loading or inaccessible site as a result and in some cases for large sites, you will have to adjust the fetch rate for Google’s Bots, to reduce the time between automatic fetches and minimize the burden on your resources.
A good sitemap will only have the pages or posts most relevant to the content, keyword, niche combination, thus maximizing Google’s efforts to index your relevant content which will in turn improve your relevancy in searches. It really is a science, a symbiotic thing when it all works together and for the big guy’s, who have marketing firms, web development companies or teams working on site refinement, SEO and Analytics, the end result is amazing, we see their presence everyday. But for the small guy or gal managing their web presence alone, it can be daunting and time consuming. Just when you think you’re done, there is something else you need to do to refine your site even more to compete.
- Always edit and maintain sitemap to give clear instructions to Google Bot
- Target your niche in searches and only add relevant content in sitemap that you want indexed
- Adjust Google fetch rate according to your update frequency and available resources.
So don’t neglect, or entrust your sitemap to some free plugin entirely, examine your site’s map and you will often notice references on there that are not needed. A little refinement goes a long way and has several benefits as you can see.