Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Google Wants To Help You Succeed

ll too often, we see Google pictured as the "evil" company who’s just out to get you, and to make your life miserable.

While at times it might seem that way, it's just not true.

No… Google is not going to come banging on your door to sit down next to you and help you design your website, but they do provide a wealth of traffic assistance for the webmaster who’s willing to look for it.

Take the Google sitemaps program for example.

Google wants to know about ALL your pages. When you consider the billions of webpages that are on the Internet now, that’s a daunting task. The way that they discover YOUR pages is by "spidering" your website. This is also called crawling. This is done through automated robots that will look through your website and follow the links to discover other pages. When it does, it puts those pages into a database, which they will use to ultimately decide which page will get listed and which one doesn’t.

If you make this process easy for them, they can reward you with much faster spidering of your website. This is especially advantageous if you have a large website.

Google has a program called their "sitemaps" program. What you do is place a specially formatted XML file on your computer that includes links to all of your web pages, and other information related to your website, such as how often you update your website and so on.

We’ve found that compiling the datafeed the way Google requires it can be a little bit intimidating.

There are programs available that will help you to do that.

When you’re building a website, it’s very easy to make a mistake in a link, especially when building a large site. This can be disastrous when Google comes around to view your website and it can hurt you tremendously. The better programs not only spider the site as Google would and builds your Google sitemap.xml file automatically, but if it encounters errors, it gives you an error log so that you can correct the errors BEFORE you submit your sitemap to Google.

This is VERY important. If Google tries to spider a site that has bad or missing links in it, then your chances of being listed in their search engine are VERY slim.

Google’s official website on this subject is at this URL: you’ll find a good explanation of their sitemap program.

Google sitemaps should be a part of every webmaster’s website submission plan. It does not necessarily help with your search engine positioning or ranking, but it will help you to get all your pages spidered quickly, which is the first step to getting your pages listed in the search engines.

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