I like Google. And I want every single page of content on my site in Google’s search database. Likely, you do too.
Now we could each wait for Google’s bots to crawl our sites and find our content – both old and new. Or, we could force the issue a little bit by taking advantage of a Google’s Webmaster Tools.
Part of Google’s Webmaster Tools is Google Sitemap. With Google Sitemap, you can submit a site map of your website/blog to Google and their bots will pick up your new content right away. Much faster than waiting for the bots to come back around your server.
Step One: Add Your URL to Google.
Step Two: Create a Sitemap
Step Three: Add Your Sitemap to Google
Step Four: That’s it! No More Steps
Creating a Google Sitemap was an item on my development list that I hadn’t gotten too. Gary made it sound so easy, I decided to jump in and do it today.
I followed the steps, using Arne Brachhold’s Google Site Map Generator Plugin for WordPress v2. It was easy. I had the plugin installed, a Google Webmaster Tools account added to my Google account and my sitemap file added to Google in about 10 minutes. No kidding. It’s that easy.
And Google had my site indexed in less than 90 seconds itself. So there you go, in less than 15 minutes, all the page of my site are indexed in Google. And when I finish this post, my Arne’s plugin will update my sitemap file and ping Google to reindex my site. From now on, every time I write a post, the plugin will update the sitemap and ping Google. Gotta love instant gratification!
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking… “Dawud, you’re a web developer, you deal with code all the time. Of course this was easy for you.”
So I’m going to prove it’s easy by putting one of my friends on the spot. Over the weekend, I’ll ask Dave Schoof, a client of mine, who owns The Disquiet in Men, go through this process himself – without my help. I’ll have him follow Gary’s tutorial. Once he’s done, I’ll ask him to post his comments on how long it took him and how easy it was.
If you need further help, I did manage to find a video by Andre Cheperon. It’s a bit dated as Google Sitemaps was a stand-alone product when he made this tutorial. Though it’s still quite a valid as Google just added Sitemaps into their Webmaster Tools.
I’d love to hear your experiences both installing and using Google Sitemaps. What difference has it made in your site traffic?