Google Sitemaps

As the third story in our Google trilogy, there's actually another angle to report on to improve your site rankings in Google: Google Sitemaps.


Sitemaps is a program that gives you the opportunity to provide your site and its pages right to Google.


As discussed in the two previous Google articles, search engines find information about your site though programs that "crawl" the web looking for new pages. When these crawler programs find a site they follow the links to gather more information.


Sitemaps essentially gives you the power to inform and direct crawlers. Google considers the program an experiment in web crawling as it hopes to expand its coverage of the web by speeding up the discovery of new pages.


If your site has yet to be found by Google or has specific pages that have been consistently missed, provide Sitemaps with a little information. For the first time, Google can provide feedback on what pages they've indexed, when, and what search keywords have linked to them. You can also give Google a list of every page in your site - a Sitemap - so it doesn't miss pages you'd like it to know about.


Google Sitemaps is regarded as a webmaster's tool. It isn't terribly hard to use, so we've included some DIY instructions below. However, if you'd like Internetrix to get you set up in Sitemaps, we've introduced a new Sitemaps service to help you out.


Do It Yourself Setup

Visit Google Sitemaps and add an account (this can be linked to your Gmail or Google Adwords account if you already have one). Sign in. You will then be prompted to enter your site's URL (example www.internetrix.net). Next, verify that you're the site owner by either adding a meta tag to the website's code or by uploading an HTML file. Google coaches you along through the process, but if you have any problems feel free to contact Internetrix for help.


Once you go through these couple of steps, the magic begins. Google Sitemaps sends your page information to the crawlers - and more! The program provides you with basic statistics such as top keywords used to find your site, page errors and even the types of documents included in your site. Crawl stats show a distribution of pages Google has already crawled as well as the PageRank of your website's pages.


Internetrix Sitemaps Setup

If issues like creating an uploading an XML formatted Sitemap scare you, you're not alone. Internetrix can help you get set up in Sitemaps, including the creation and registration of a Sitemap from any Freestyle website. The cost is determined by the time our engineers spend setting things up (larger and more complex the website, the longer it takes), so if you're interested, contact us and we'll give you a quote!


Now remember, using Sitemaps doesn't necessarily mean that your site will be ranked at the top of the list for all of your desired keywords. Google Sitemaps really only promises to speed the discovery of your new site and new pages. An added advantage is the visibility it gives to webmasters - you can see how quickly Google really is indexing you.


Google provide Sitemaps as a free service, so why not give it a go? At least you'll have the peace of mind knowing that Google knows your site is out there. And hey, if web surfers can't find your site in Google, where else are they going to find it?


If you would like more information about Sitemaps visit Google (http://www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/docs/en/about.html). Please do not hesitate to give Internetrix a call if you would like us to get Google Sitemaps up and running for your website.

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