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  1. #1
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Question To Google Sitemap or NOT to Google Sitemap?
    SEO theory has seemed to be that you HAVE to submit a Google sitemap and a new one whenever you update a site.

    But is that true and is that the best idea for SEO?

    I’m in the process of upgrading my primary site-building tool Rapidweaver, from Rapidweaver 5 to Rapidweaver 6 (which requires that I have installed the latest OS X, Yosemite, which I did yesterday) and then totally re-building my two oldest and biggest sites which are still on a 2001-3 era platform.

    So, before the Rapidweaver upgrade, I’ve been looking for whatever new SEO benefits or available plugins or addons are available. I came across an interesting and thought provoking discussion in the Rapidweaver forum:

    One benefit of Rapidweaver has been that it automatically generates and submits a Google sitemap upon site updates. But in this discussion I saw for the first time that the sitemaps that Rapidweaver generates ONLY include top-navigation-level pages, and they do that intentionally. In discussing this, there was this comment made by a veteran site builder and Rapidweaver enthusiast:

    I think if you delete the sitemap.xml file and run your website without one you will find that Google will index all pages with relevant and informative content. If you leave the sitemap.xml file it may determine that you believe that only those pages are relevant.

    Once upon a time that sitemap.xml file was a huge help. Today, Google and technology is so fast that I doubt it adds much to the mix for SEO and nothing at all for indexing in general.
    So, any opinions? Are you better off with NO sitemap than with one that omits key pages?
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador beachcom's Avatar
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    Phil,

    I've got sites that I've never put a sitemap on (for whatever reason), and do fine. I have sites that do have sitemaps and they also do fine. Maybe the sitemap is a "sacred cow". I pay more attention to my nav links, canonical url's, and so forth which I think play a big part in getting your site spidered, than whether or not I update my sitemap. Most of my sites are responsive non-wordpress so I don't have the "benefit" of that built-in auto sitemap updating, which doesn't bother me in the least. I would have to agree with your Rapidweaver enthusiast assessment. I figure if I want to give a "new" page or site a little push, I'll put a link or two or three to that page or site via a more established site, for me and what I do, that seems to work quicker than submitting a new site map.

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  4. #3
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Hey, Joey, glad to see you here. Hope all is well.

    I'm trying an experiment - I've removed the sitemap from two of my RW sites. I'm going to try to wait at least a month before comparing stats.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  5. #4
    ABW Ambassador beachcom's Avatar
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    Thanks Phil. All is well. Been busy. Let me know how your experiment goes.

  6. #5
    ABW Ambassador VampireSkunk's Avatar
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    I dunno. I use WordPress. I use DagonDesign's sitemap plugin in cahoots with the Google xml sitemap plugin. It seems to work, but I have no idea how my sites would fare without a sitemap. It would seem logical that if you present a sitemap, and it contains only top level navigation, Google may be slow to index other pages....but... I dunno.

  7. #6
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    If a site has good internal linking structure it will do just fine in my opinion. Sitemaps will help too but it should stay current. Sitemaps with dead links can be worse than no sitemaps.

  8. #7
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    There's no point in sitemapping URLs that are already in Google's Index, because G will revisit them on its own when G feels like it, in which case the delay is an important indicator of G's interest in those pages, so a sitemap to those pages will only screw up such stats. So, with an older site, sitemap only new content and time Google on visiting those pages.

    With a new site and 100000s of pages (like a datafeed generated bs site) it's rational to kill the navigation and feed Google with a sitemap, gradually increasing the number of pages to index in the sitemap. I don't think a plugin could do that, but I'm not familiar with any plugins. I would write a script which selects and filters data from the site's database directly, instead of just walking the site like a spider.

  9. #8
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    I've never used them. But what do I know? LOL
    And now that I am downsizing to (semi)retire, I suppose I never will use them.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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