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Google presents Google Sitemaps. An answer to a few prayers, it is. Google has embraced/created a protocol for defining the URL structure of a site and invites webmasters around the world to place their site definitions in a public spot for their crawlers to come collect. Have a look at the information this Sitemap file will include:

The XML Sitemap Format uses the following XML tags:
changefreq — how frequently the content at the URL is likely to change
lastmod — the time the content at the URL was last modified
loc — the URL location
priority — the priority of the page relative to other pages on the same site

Many of us who have worked tirelessly to get the search engine crawlers deep into sites – particularly dynamic e-commerce ones – this truly is an answer to a prayer. Google is saying, show me where it all is and which bits are the most important, and I’ll come and get it all.

Some practitioners, who utilise questionable techniques on their clients’ sites will baulk at the necessity to register with Google to submit these pages, so the optimist in me will hope that Google will take some steer from webmaster willingness to register – albeit only with a Gmail account – as a sign of authenticity (perhaps I am just being a bit too kind-hearted on this one).

I will let you know how I get on with our first experiments in using Google Sitemaps.

Filed in Blog, June 6th, 2005. Leave a comment, or trackback from your own site. Follow comments via RSS

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