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Question about Google and Site Maps
Does Google "approve" of this?
saltwaterpizza




msg:168080
 12:57 pm on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi, everyone! I've been reading these forums for awhile now, and I'm currently reworking my site based on information I've found here.

Anyway, on my site's root index.html page, I have a menu on the left side. The last item on the menu is "Site Map." This does not actually link to another page, but instead links to the bottom of this page, where I've built a full site map. I put it on this page so that Google would see all of the links in the site map when it first hits my root. My thinking is that this will help Google find the pages faster, and since they are just 1 link off the main page, it will rank all of these links higher as well.

My question is, should I be doing this, or is this something that Google will not like? I'm trying to be very careful about doing things the "correct Google" way, so just wanted to run this by you all to see if I'm handling this correctly.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!

[edited by: saltwaterpizza at 1:09 pm (utc) on May 23, 2003]

 

MetropolisRobot




msg:168081
 1:07 pm on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

First things first:

(1) not *supposed* to post a URL in your submissions here. I am sure it will be removed before long.

(2) there's nothing wrong with what you are doing as it is largely internal to your site IMO.

I used to have a very hierarchical pattern to my site which Google searched very well, but what I realised was I was not passing the page rank on very well from page to page (suffering dilution).

In addition, more advanced web users appreciate shortcuts, over more newbie users who like to surf in a hierarchy.

For those 2 reasons I changed my structure to have more links at the top down into the content below.

As for spidering? The spiders will find the pages eventually IMO.

Mohamed_E




msg:168082
 1:08 pm on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Welcome to WebmasterWorld, saltwaterpizza!

Let me first suggest that you remove your URL, it is against the Terms Of Service [webmasterworld.com] (abbreviated TOS) to post it. I suggest that you read them.

I see no problem with what you describe. Since I was unable to access your site I do not know what the appearance is, but I worry that a large number of links at the bottom of the page may prove distracting to the human reader. Always think of your human readers first, Google does not buy things from your site!

With a large list of pages almost all webmasters use a separate page for the site map. Google will still find the pages, they are only two clicks away from the home page.

saltwaterpizza




msg:168083
 1:15 pm on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi again, everyone. I've removed my url, sorry about that. As many times as I get tired of people not reading forums rules, you'd think I would have read them myself! Lazy, lazy, lazy! :-)

At any rate, I appreciate the feedback. I may just go ahead and move the site map onto its own page. That seems like the more visually-pleasing way to handle this.

Thanks for the advice!

Scott Niven

thejenn




msg:168084
 1:18 pm on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm also thinking that depending on the number of links and the anchor and descriptive text with them, it could stand to harm the keyword density for that page.

I've never had a problem with Google finding a site map that was linked too off of the front page, so I'd always lean toward having it as a separate page, rather than just lower on the page.

MetropolisRobot




msg:168085
 1:18 pm on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'd consider keeping a couple of links front and center, especially if those are going to be key pages in your site.

wackmaster




msg:168086
 1:33 pm on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

saltwaterpizza,

How about this, to build on some comments above: If the links you refer to help the user, keep them on the index page and put them wherever they make most sense from a user's POV.

If the links you refer to are there primarily for the SE's, then put them on a 'site map' subpage off the index page and the SE's will find them easliy.

If it's a combination of the two, ID the ones that are most useful to users, keep them on the homepage, lose the rest, and still add a subpage for your site map.

saltwaterpizza




msg:168087
 1:34 pm on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

thejenn: Thanks! I hadn't though of that. I definitely don't want to harm the keyword density, since I'm happy with that how it stands now.

MetropolisRobot: I think I'm going to keep the main category links on my root page (and all other pages, for that matter) for easy navigation, but also go with a site map on its own separate page. Thanks!

This page optimization is addictive stuff!

Scott

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