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How important are XML site maps?

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Old 28-07-12
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Default How important are XML site maps?

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.

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Old 28-07-12
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Default Re: How important are XML site maps?

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.

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Old 28-07-12
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Default Re: How important are XML site maps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ExecAccess View Post

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

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Old 29-07-12
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Default Re: How important are XML site maps?

You can create it easily here:

http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/

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Default Re: How important are XML site maps?

[QUOTE=Tiggerito;125489

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.

I.[/QUOTE]

Thanks Tony.

It might be useful from that point of view as we do have some duplicate pages due to products appearing in more than one category.

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Default Re: How important are XML site maps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Divert To Mobile View Post
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
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.

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Default Re: How important are XML site maps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by My Wedding Concierge View Post
You can create it easily here:

http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/

Thank you!

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Default Re: How important are XML site maps?

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

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Default Re: How important are XML site maps?

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.

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Default Re: How important are XML site maps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ExecAccess View Post
Thanks Tony.

It might be useful from that point of view as we do have some duplicate pages due to products appearing in more than one category.
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.

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