Owner at Wynyard Consultants Ltd
15 October 2008 19:59pm
I came across this article on SEOmoz suggesting that Sitemap submission may be a bad idea.
I have been recommending and actively using Sitemaps without considering any downside. This article has made me stop and think.
Do others have any views on this? Is anyone else not using Sitemaps for the reasons given. Does anyone believe that structural problems with their sites have been hidden as a result of reliance on Sitemaps?
MD at Runinsight.co.uk
16 October 2008 14:08pm
I did the same thing as you have.
I always submit sitemaps and will keep submitting them since they are about getting your site indexed and have no actual ""ranking value".
I hope this helps.
Managing Director at n3w media
16 October 2008 22:38pm
Interesting article, but not sure that there is anything in it to make people change their current practises.
Essentially the article seems to suggest that *IF* you are concerned about a specific pages search engine viability then you could refrain from using site map crawls and just let the normal indexing process highlight any so called *errors*.
Seems like a sensible enough argument if it is something that you are interested in... I guess the other side of the coin is that even if you get some pages indexed that would have otherwise been missed, then they are so unlikely to ever turn up in any search that they might as well not be there.
We would include a site map in every site - but our concern would be to make that useful for human visitors as a secondary navigation method. Our belief would be that if Google wants to crawl the site and index it then it is of course more than welcome to do so. Similarly Google have spent enough $ figuring out how to crawl and index content, such that I don't have to worry about telling it what to do. So as a consequence we would not bother submitting sitemaps. We just concentrate on building great sites for human visitors of all types.
However, if you feel that there is value in submitting site maps, I don't think that article indicates that anything bad will happen to you :-)
marketing at telefonix
17 October 2008 11:29am
That article strikes me as an article that's a but remote from the real world that most people or companies with websites live in.
If you're experienced at site structure, seo and all that jazz then by omitting the sitemap you'll get a grip on issues. But really you shouldn't need to omit it to see the issues anyway so it's a bit of an odd argument. It's a nobrainer for anyone who knows what they're doing to identify the issues.
But sites get very big - esp. dynamic sites. When you've got 50k dynamic URLs to crawl things can easily get missed or done sloppily. So as an insurance policy to quickly identify issues sitemaps are pretty handy.
If you're joe schmoe with a 50 page company website that's looked after by some outside agency that probably doesn't get the attention it deserves then a sitemap is an easy way to ensure the pages get crawled rather than not. Many companies are in this position.
Sitemaps are just a tool to help robots because sites are generally put together badly. If this wasn't the case they wouldn't be neccessary.
One other note, although they don't alter SERPs, the view seems to be that the various fields in sitemaps are taken notice of in terms of relative weight of page. So I have 3 pages set at 1.0, important toplevel landing ones at .75, bulk at .5 and other formats (image,pdf) at .25. It works for me.
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