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How to Make Websites that are Easy to Index Part 2

By: Artin Hovhanesian at Torino Creative Web Design

Submitted on Tue, Feb 1st, 2011 3:05 am

Sometimes called an index page, a sitemap, either in the XML or HTML format, is probably the most important page on the website which includes the links to all other pages on the website through keyword rich anchor texts. The sitemap is usually linked from the home page and the footer of each page. The site map doesnt need to have a fancy design, it just needs to fulfill its job by helping the search engines to find all the links of the website, crawl them and find new links and content within the website. The sitemaps can be created manually or you can use automated scripts/programs to create them. Well now youre thinking this might sound good and all, but why do i actually need this so called sitemap?

The sitemap can also be used by normal visitors to your website, but in normal circumstances, if the design of the website is good, they may not require referring to the sitemap. The sitemap also helps the search engines to control what they are looking for and how relevant a particular content is.
HTML Sitemap

The HTML sitemap, generally placed at the footer of all pages in a website, is intended for the visitors of the website, displaying titles, anchor tags, links, descriptions, and other related information about the web page. It is also scanned by the search engines to crawl deeper level URLs which are sometimes skipped otherwise.
XML Sitemap

A XML sitemap is now known to all the major search engines and is intended to give valuable information about any updates or addition occurring on the website. When a XML sitemap is registered with Google Webmaster Tool, it produces an analysis of findings and problems encountered with reports of errors, warnings and statistics. The XML sitemap reports Google about all the latest added pages of content in real time and thus helps to index the web pages faster.

Some of the important tags used by the XML sitemaps are:

Changefreq Tag: This tag instructs the crawlers about the frequency of the scanning, especially in big websites with a large number of pages which change continuously.

Priority Tag: This tag specifies which pages are the most important ones on a website.

Lastmod Tag: This tag indicates the date of the last modification and is used with the frequency attribute. This is used with the large websites.

Usage of Robots

Robots.txt is a simple text file placed in the root of the website, along with the sitemap file, which advises robots and crawlers which files or directories they should not access. Usage of robots can avoid wastage of server resources by using them to restrict the access to pages which are only meant for users and not search engines, such as feedback forms, sites search engines, etc. It can also save the bandwidth of the website, removes clutter from the statistics and refuse a particular robot to index the website. Now, you can also add a sitemap entry to the robots.txt file and the sitemap will be read when the spider of Google finds this file.

Its syntax is:
-------------------
User-Agent: *
Disallow:
Sitemap: http://www.yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml
-------------------

Therefore by following this post & the previous web design SEO post, rest assure you will diffidently get on your way to the top of the search engine rankings for your targeted niche.

About the Author

Artin Hovhanesian
Torino Creative Web Design
Torino Creative is a Professional Web Design Company and Web Development Company based in Los Angeles. We specialize in Web Design, Graphic Design, E-Commerce, CMS Development, Online Marketing and more. Visit our site or call us today: Web Design Los Angeles * (818) 502-3393

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