Part II - Getting Your Site Indexed in Google
Getting your site listed in Google is easier than ever now since Google offers sitemaps. By using a sitemap, you can make it very easy to get all of your pages indexed by Google. This can help you raise your rankings in Google, as well as help searchers find you. The beauty of sitemaps is that once you've set up your sitemap, you can basically forget about it until you make updates to your site. Then you will need to add the new entries to your sitemap. Google will take care of the rest. However, if you're a non-techie, or the idea of setting up scripts, or learning new software doesn't appeal to you, there are other ways to get the job done without stressing yourself. There are plenty of online tools that you can use that are absolutely free. Although these sites won't help you if you have a really large site, usually over 1,000 pages, for the average site owner, these tools will get the job done, and at most, all you'll need to know how to do is cut and paste, save, and then upload your sitemap to your site. Below are some tools you can use to help you get started. Try the various tools out first to see which ones you like best. These are the easiest solutions I've found for creating sitemaps, and it will only take you a few minutes to get your sitemap created and submitted.
1. Sitemap Doc - http://www.sitemapdoc.com/ - This site will create a sitemap for sites up to 750 pages. All you have to do is enter your URL for the main page for your site, click the create map button, and this site will extract your urls and create your sitemap. It also allows you to customize your map by adding additional urls, as well as changing time, date, and priority settings.
2. Audit My PC - http://www.auditmypc.com/free-sitemap-generator.asp - This sitemap creator actually gives you two options: you can create a sitemap for Google, and you can create a sitemap for your visitors. The sitemap you create for your visitors can help you in getting spidered by the newer spiders offered by MSN and Yahoo.
3. ROR - http://www.rorweb.com/ - ROR is very similar to XML, which is the formatting used in sitemaps, and you can use it to create your sitemaps. Unlike most sitemap utilities, this tool does more. It will help you more fully describe the content on your website. You can also use it to create feeds for your products and services, as well as feeds for your site. I used the ROR generator to create sitemaps for my sites, and I found it to be much easier. I submitted the ROR sitemap feeds to Google, and it has eliminated any errors I had in my previous sitemaps. What's I liked about this site is that it gives you plenty of options in both the types of feeds you create, as well as a choice between an online tool or software to create sitemaps and feeds.
4. WordPress Sitemap Generator - http://www.arnebrachhold.de/2005/06/05/google-sitemaps-generator-v2-final - For those of you who use Wordpress for your blog, this is the only tool you need to create your sitemaps. This sitemap generator is actually a plugin you can install on your Wordpress Blog and use it to automatically generate a new sitemap for your blog each time you post. This keeps your sitemap constantly updated, and it allows Google to more fully spider your blog. Once installed and updated, you can forget about it. The plugin takes care of the rest.
5. Google Sitemap Generators List - http://code.google.com/sm_thirdparty.html - If none of the solutions above work for you, or you need something more comprehensive, Google offers a large list of scripts and software you can use to generate your sitemaps. This will be the solution for any site that has a large number of pages and needs a sitemap that can't be created with the tools listed above. Once you've created and uploaded your sitemap, then it's time to submit it. You will need a Gmail account so that you can sign into Google Sitemaps. You can sign into sitemaps here: http://www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/login. You can also find out more about the various types of content that Google accepts: http://www.google.com/submit_content.html Follow the instructions for submitting your site. It should take you about two minutes to add your sitemap. Once you've added your sitemap, Google will take over. Now, not only will you be able to get your site more fully spidered by Google, you'll also get plenty of helpful statistics on your site. You can use what you learn from your stastics to improve your search engine coverage and raise your rankings.
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