As a Liverpool based SEO company, sometimes you need to get a little bit of perspective in regards to tried and tested techniques.
This week I’ve been talking to my friends over at SEO Manchester about Google Sitemaps. Is there still a value in submitting a Sitemap to Google? In our opinion, if a site has very poor navigation and on-page SEO, submitting a Sitemap might be your only alternative. But for well optimised sites, is there a benefit in submitting a Sitemap file to Google?
Here are some important points
- The Last modification date field in the sitemap file can aid Google in quickly locating the actual change in the page. John at Google explained that Google might not have time to crawl all the pages you said changed, so if you specify the actual change in the Sitemap file, it will be easier for Google to pick up on those changes.
- The Priority, Change frequency is a lot like the last mod date. If you give Google data that “makes sense”, i.e. don’t list 100% of your pages as the most important page on your site, then it can be useful to Google.
Googles Advice States;
* Yes, please send us Sitemap files, preferably sitemap.org XML files! * Work on good URLs & use them to double-check your site's navigation * Optional: Date or change frequency? depends on how you work. * Also optional: Priority
In conclusion, if you have good solid navigation, you may not need them. But why take the risk! Webmaster tools is an incredibly valuable tool that enables you to check any issues with each indexed page.