Search engines such as Google usually discover information about your web site by following links from other web sites. To help speed up this process we have a useful links page which has links to all our customer’s web sites.
Once a site has been discovered, a search engine then follows the links within the site to gather information about all the pages. It will come back later and make a copy of each page in its list. This is a gradual process and it can take many months to get listed because priority is usually given to revisiting other sites to find new or changed content. Unfortunately some pages aren’t discovered or get left out of the indexing process altogether.
However, when you have a Google Sitemap on your web site it will tell Google about all the pages on your site, when they were last updated, and the relative importance of each page.
By helping Google to identify which pages you have on your web site it helps to speed up the indexing process. Google can find out everything it needs to know about your web pages by reading one file, rather than wasting energy looking all around your web site. If a page has been updated it can go directly to that page and get the latest edition. If a page has been removed from your web site it can take it out of search results immediately, meaning visitors are far less likely to see a broken link.
A Google Sitemap is sometimes known as a XML Sitemap (sitemap.xml) because it has a structured format and is written in a text file that complies to the XML standard. This means the list of pages can also be arranged with additional information such as the relative importance of each page. So if you think that your top selling product should have a higher priority in search results than your terms and conditions you can let Google know and it will take it into account when showing its results.
By ensuring that Google has the most up to date and comprehensive record of your pages you can improve the performance of your web site. If you are using Google Site Search to provide a search facility on your web site it will also improve the quality of the results that are shown.
Google Sitemaps is available free of charge. You will need a Google Sitemaps account to submit your file but Quotes can submit your file to Google using our own Google Sitemaps account upon request.
Last updated: Sunday, 31st January 2016
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