1. Important: Please read our guidelines and tips for new players before posting, particularly if this is your first time. If looking for answers, start with a search of past topics.

How important are XML site maps?

Discussion in 'Search engines etc' started by ExecAccess, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. ExecAccess

    ExecAccess Active Member

    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    39
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Hi
    We currently do not have XML site maps for either of our sites and I don't know how important they are. Is not having them holding us back?

    I did ask our web developer some time ago about this and they said they didn't "do XML site maps".

    Is this something I can create and get the web developer to upload?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Tiggerito

    Tiggerito Active Member

    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    135
    Trophy Points:
    43
    It's not a major issue, or any issue for most websites.

    The xml sitemap is just a way to tell Google that you are confirming certain URLs are correct.

    In most cases Google crawls and finds all the URLs by themselves.

    The sitemap can help Google if you have a structure issue causing duplicate or infinite URLs. Google will then use the sitemap to find out which URL you want them to officially index.

    If you have URLs that are hard to find (say in Javascript) then the sitemap can help Google find them. It is still best to make it possible for Google to find every URL via basic links that it can crawl.

    It can also be useful as Google will tell you how many pages from the sitemap have been indexed. If this is low it can indicate you have an issue somewhere. Quite often that your sitemap is wrong!

    There are tools available that can crawl your website and try and create a sitemap for you. I think Screaming Frog Crawler can do that.

    I'd consider changing developer if their response to core website features is "we don't do that". What else don't they do that may be negatively effecting your website. Or what are they doing that does negatively affect your website and they don't care.
  3. Divert To Mobile

    Divert To Mobile Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,633
    Likes Received:
    1,199
    Trophy Points:
    143
    If you create it they should be able to upload it. Personally I'd get someone from around here to take over the hosting and development for you.

    A closer look at your site indicates that you may be stuck with the hosting company if their cms is custom in house.

    Steve
  4. My Wedding Concierge

    My Wedding Concierge Active Member

    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    48
    Trophy Points:
    28
    1 person likes this.
  5. ExecAccess

    ExecAccess Active Member

    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    39
    Trophy Points:
    28
  6. ExecAccess

    ExecAccess Active Member

    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    39
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Hi Steve

    Spot on! The cms is provided by the web developer and we use it under licence. I am not sure what would happen if we wanted to go somewhere else, we probably would have to build a whole new site.
  7. ExecAccess

    ExecAccess Active Member

    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    39
    Trophy Points:
    28
  8. ExecAccess

    ExecAccess Active Member

    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    39
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Just checked Google Webmaster and I am thinking it might not be worth bothering - unless the "not selected" are concerning. These are our stats for 22/7

    Executive Accessories:
    Total indexed 2845
    Ever crawled 11556
    Not selected 6408
    Blocked 1126

    Mens Formal (which only launched in May):
    Total indexed 885
    Ever crawled 2692
    Not selected 1960
    Blocked 308
  9. Tiggerito

    Tiggerito Active Member

    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    135
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Not selected are pages Google decided to ignore for some reason (duplicate, redirects).

    Not a major issue but it does indicate that Google has to work quite hard to find pages, then ignore them. Keeping that number low means Google bots can focus on crawling pages that have value.
  10. MatthewKeath

    MatthewKeath Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,754
    Likes Received:
    1,388
    Trophy Points:
    143
    That's strange. Can't you put a product in more than one category?

    I don't understand a web development company that doesn't do sitemaps. It a pretty basic undertaking.


    Having so many pages I think it's pretty important to have a dynamic site map.
  11. MatthewKeath

    MatthewKeath Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,754
    Likes Received:
    1,388
    Trophy Points:
    143
    Yep. Which I only recommend a ecommerce or cms solution that can you can move around if you want to change developer.
  12. JohnTranter

    JohnTranter Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    520
    Likes Received:
    307
    Trophy Points:
    63
    It looks to me that the web design company don't have exclusive access to that cms system.

    There are other agencies you *could* use, some are suggested on the cms home website
    http://corp.webtemplate.com.au/the-webtemplate-team

    Boylen Media
    Artbox Animation & Design Pty Ltd

    Obviously I have no idea of your contract with Bridgehead but if you do own the site, and not 'rent' it, you could possible change without starting from scratch.
  13. ExecAccess

    ExecAccess Active Member

    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    39
    Trophy Points:
    28

    Hi

    Yes we can - and do - put products in more than one category. But it is the same page that is created and we nominate which other category(ies) it will appear in. This in turn gives it more than one URL which I presume is classed as duplication. I am not sure if this is adversely effecting SEO.

    For example the following URLs are for the same item created as one product page (the first URL below) but also appearing in 2 other locations on the site:

    http://www.executiveaccessories.com.au/products/leather-goods/hidesign/hidesign-leather-wash-bag

    http://www.executiveaccessories.com.../travel-accessories/hidesign-leather-wash-bag

    http://www.executiveaccessories.com...oming/toiletry-bags/hidesign-leather-wash-bag
  14. ExecAccess

    ExecAccess Active Member

    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    39
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Hi John

    Thanks for your reply.

    Not sure about Artbox - but Boylen and Bridgehead have merged recently.

    I am not unhappy with Bridgehead - I believe they have developed 2 great sites most of which we have control over. However as with most business relationships there can be issues from time to time.
  15. Tiggerito

    Tiggerito Active Member

    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    135
    Trophy Points:
    43
    You want to avoid this sort of duplication where possible. It dilutes your link graph and makes Googles job harder.

    Instead of Google seeing a bunch of links to a single product page and thus reinforcing the context of that product, it sees few links to a bunch of pages that may be duplicates.

    Ideally, if they are identical they should be the same URL. If you can't do that then you can help direct the search engines to the official product page via canonical meta tags.
  16. ExecAccess

    ExecAccess Active Member

    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    39
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Thank you.
    I will look into canonical meta tags - I have learned that I need to know what I am talking about before I speak to the web developers.
    Can you point me in the right direction?

    Thanks again.
  17. Tiggerito

    Tiggerito Active Member

    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    135
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I always like to reference what Google say themselves, and they have some good stuff on duplicate content and canonical tags...

    http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.uk/2008/09/demystifying-duplicate-content-penalty.html

    http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.uk/2009/02/specify-your-canonical.html
  18. ExecAccess

    ExecAccess Active Member

    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    39
    Trophy Points:
    28
  19. Shane Walker

    Shane Walker Active Member

    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    35
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Hi Exec Acess! It’s Shane Walker here.

    In regards to SEO, XML site maps make it a lot easier for Google to index and rank your website for your chosen keywords. However, it is not imperative that you have one but it does help.

    SEO is made up of a number of things and they all add together. However, if your competitor has a site that has everything you have like same links and etc… but one had a XML site map that you don’t have, then, the site with the XML site map will rank higher.

    What sort of CMS are you using? If it’s WordPress, you can easily do it via plug-in. But there are other ways to do it as well. In regards to your web developer, if they don’t do it, there is something strange there. It could be possible that they would say that because they don’t know how to do it or that they are not just interested. With that sort of response, I’ll be turning around and telling them I pay you to do my site. If you are not going to do it, I will be looking to go elsewhere.

    Hope this helps.

    Regards,
  20. ojwebdesign

    ojwebdesign New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    3
    important. but not very important.

    it helps good index your site, all it has to do is read the file and BAM! hopefully all your pages will get indexed.

    get a Google webmaster account and submit it through there.

Share This Page