Last week, I wrote a little about sitemaps because of an email from our in-house SEO expert, Don. He said he finished submitting over 400 sitemaps to Yahoo and Bing, and this may have a positive impact on page views. Of course, that begs the question, what is a sitemap? How do you submit one? What does it do?
I reached out to Don in a Q-and-A so we can hear about it in his own words. Leave a comment below if you have any questions!
Q: What is a sitemap?
A: Sitemap is a list of pages that tells Google where the story links and videos are located on your website.
Q: Does every website have one?
A: All GateHouse sites have sitemaps, which are created by Zope, and when we move to the new system, Saxotech will create them for us as well.
Q: What did you do to submit the sitemaps to Bing?
A: You go to the Bing Webmaster site and tell Bing the URL or address of the sitemap for your website. Then Bing will pick up the sitemap daily, sometimes hourly, depending on if Zope updates the sitemap frequently, which Zope does. As soon as a story is created, Zope adds it immediately to the sitemap so when Bing is ready to get it, its available with the latest updated information.
Q: How will this help page views?
A: Google and Bing both have program robots, or spiders, that "crawl" the website looking for Web pages. With a sitemap, you can tell the search engines immediately where the pages are, just by chance they miss them when they crawl the site. With news sites, they are adding and updating stories 24/7, so getting the stories to them right away is very important in terms of adding them in Google/Bing/Yahoo Search and News.