Submitting Sitemaps to Search Engines

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Most novice Internet marketers and webmasters neglect the importance of creating a sitemap. Even those that do remember to take this step often forget or don’t realize that they can submit this sitemap to many of the major search engines in an effort to assist the efforts of the engine’s crawlers.

What is a Sitemap?

A sitemap is an XML file that includes all of the URLs for the pages included in your web site as well as information on those pages, such as the last time they were updated.

Submitting the sitemap to a search engine is similar to giving a friend a map to help them reach your house. Just as you want your friend to quickly and easily reach your home, you want the engine’s crawlers to find all of your pages so they can all be indexed. With more pages indexed, your chances of reaching higher rankings should also improve.

How to Submit

Sitemaps are not only beneficial but they are quite simple to submit to the search engine. Google, Yahoo, and Bing all have simple methods for submission. With Bing, for example, you can enter the address of your sitemap on the “Add a Site” page. Yahoo offers the “Submit Site Feed” option on their “Submit Your Site” page while Google includes a “Submit a Sitemap” button under their Site Configuration choices.

Of course, if you don’t take this step and manually submit your sitemap that doesn’t mean it won’t eventually be located. What it does mean is that the process will take longer. It also means that some of your pages may be overlooked. After all, most of your pages are going to be identified by the engine through links on other pages. That means there is a good chance that not all of your URLs will be recognized by the search engines.

Taking Both Steps

The good news is that waiting or submitting are not choices you have to really make. You can let the search engines identify your sitemap for themselves while you also submit it to some of the major engines as well. There are no negative consequences for doing so but you could reap some benefits for the effort.

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