Has Google finally embraced RSS with their new XML
powered Sitemaps program? Well, sort of, but it seems
more like a hug than a strong impassioned embrace!
It does use XML technology which allows for the
crawling and updating of your site's web pages.
You can even include your entire web site (all urls)
with this indexing program. For anyone targeting the search
engines, especially Google, this program (still in beta)
is a MUST HAVE.
If you require timely updating of your most popular pages
Google's new Sitemaps may prove indispensable. It's a little
premature to assess the importance or impact of Google's
new program but anyone wanting to give their site a
competitive edge should be gearing up.
How it works:
There are several ways to set-up a XML Sitemap, perhaps
the easiest way is to use the open-source Generator which
you can download from Google. This is a Python file that
you can upload to your webserver and this generator
will create a sitemap from your 'URL lists, webserver
directories, or your access logs'.
It would probably be wise to check with your hosting provider
to see if they can accommodate this Generator on your webserver.
It you have a small site there should be no problem but if your
site runs into the 1,000's of URLs or pages -- check to see how much
bandwidth such a system will take up. It's better to be safe
Once done, you have to then submit your newly generated XML Sitemap
to Google and the search engine will use this XML Sitemap to
update and index your site whenever you make changes on your site.
You will need to have a Google account.
You may also submit text files containing URLs from your web site
to be included in Google Sitemaps but these text files will have
or will be given low priority for the time being.
To get started on your own Google Sitemaps Account you can click here:
What's great about it:
Besides seeing Google finally grab the RSS wildcard, it
gives you better control of how and when the search
engines update your web site pages. Perhaps, the most
important aspect for Internet Marketers, you can now assign
the importance that's given to any of your particular
pages. As most marketers know, certain pages on your
web site are more important than others; these pages
earn money, build your contact list, or direct your
site's visitors in the right direction. In other words,
you can now place more emphasis on your web site's
'bread and butter' pages. A BIG Plus!
With Google Sitemaps you can decide the importance
placed on these pages by using the priority XML tag.
This rating system is relative, it only relates to
the pages on your own site.
Likewise, you can also indicate how frequently your
pages changes by using the changefreq XML tag. More or
less instructing Google when your page will be updated
or changed. This is a win-win situation for everyone;
Google gets the freshest content for its users and
you gain more control of the frequency of the updates
done with your site or web pages. This may have a direct
influence on the profitability of your web site.
For those who are actively marketing thru the search
engines and keywords -- Santa may have come a little
early this year. Of course, the jury will be out for
awhile but Google Sitemaps will probably have a
positive impact on your bottom line.
What it means for Google:
For those of us who have been following and watching
the RSS wildcard for the past couple of years, it takes
away some of the frustration and a little of the puzzlement
from Google seemingly total disregard of RSS.
RSS is not a fad, it is not a trend and it's not going away.
Instead, its importance is growing. It is fast becoming 'the'
way data is moved on the web. One could even speculate that
in the very near future all web pages will have an RSS
component, perhaps a hybrid of 'XML/HMTL' or an embedded
XML code that will work with all browsers, search engines
For Google to ignore the growing importance of RSS, blogging,
podcasting, broadcatching, the RSS featured Firefox browser,
MyYahoo, not to mention all those orange XML logos popping
up on most of the major sites on the web -- is beyond comprehension.
Why Google does not have an RSS search on its main search engine
page still seems baffling. Bringing out a homepage and not
including an RSS feature is just foolhardy (They may introduce
this feature later).
For those firmly in the RSS corner, Google's continued
disregard for RSS became more than a little frustrating
to observe. It was downright rude! Perhaps Google was waiting
to incorporate RSS in a program like this new XML Sitemaps?
Can this mean that Google has finally accepted the importance
of RSS and they're starting to make amends? More importantly,
could there still be a few more RSS goodies in the Google Jar
left to be announced?
One can only speculate but when it comes to RSS and Google,
lets just hope this is the start of a beautiful friendship.
To add RSS to your Site within minutes - download this
simple RSS Report and Guide.
Copyright ? 2005 Titus Hoskins of BWMagic's Free Marketing Tools & Guides
This article may be freely distributed if this resource
box stays attached.