Friday, June 10, 2011

Google Sitemaps useful SEO Tools

One of the most useful utilities that the engineers and think tank at Google have ever devised is the Google Sitemaps program.

The said program, which is a product of their much publicized and much vaunted policy of allowing its engineers to spend 20 per cent of their paid time on personal projects, has been a boon to many webmasters, website operators and SEO professionals because it has made certain aspects of their work far easier and more intuitive.

Google’s decision to come out with Google Sitemaps is based mainly on the desire to present more intuitive and better search results to users. Because of the current limitations presented by web crawling, there is a high probability that not all pages in a website will be noted and registered with the search engine. There are also many variables and factors that are not addressed with the current methods and technologies used for website submissions. These limitations are what Google Sitemaps seeks to address.

Google Sitemaps was officially started in June 2005. This handy utility makes the submission of web pages to Google easier. The added features though are the detailed reports that is also generated by Google Sitemaps. In order to use the Google Sitemaps program, a person need only download a free open source tool called Sitemap Generator or use one of the many 3rd party applications. These utilities are what helps in creating a sitemap of the webmaster’s website using the Sitemap protocol that is being backed by Google itself.

The complement of new features that are part of the Google Sitemaps programs also means that it has become a great tool for search engine optimization professionals. The automation of these features has made it easier for SEO professionals to do their job and formulate the proper strategies to increase the page ranking of a website.

For example the “top search queries” feature of Google Sitemaps allows you to see the top search queries that not only returned the client website as a result as well as those that Google searchers actually clicked on. This feature also allows you to see the top position for the website in the search results generated for either set search queries. The positions indicated are an average of the movement for the last three weeks.

Since any type of error can have a detrimental effect not only on the functionality of the website but with the page ranking of a website in Google, the report function of Google Sitemaps is a big help to SEO professionals. With the new feature, a webmaster or SEO professionals can download information straight from the Sitemaps account into a comma separated value (CSV) file. This file, which can be accessed through any text editor or spreadsheet software can contain the specific details of the website, including the errors generated (via dead links, broken links, etc) or statistics. The good thing is the file can even contain the information for all of the websites operated by SEO professional and included in the Sitemaps account. This is monumentally beneficial because it fully automates the search for any dead or broken links that may otherwise be a tedious chore if done manually. The good thing here is that this is periodically updated so you will know if the changes incorporated into the website will produce broken links.

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