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This 62 message thread spans 3 pages: < < 62 ( 1 [2] 3 > >     
sitemaps flipping out

 5:28 pm on May 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sitemaps was working great, I was checking up on it every few days to get my stats with no problem.

All of the sudden i notice in AWstats that google has totally dropped my site.

anyways so i check out sitemaps and it has totally gone bonkers!

my sitemap is getting URL errors, say (line 40) so i go delete line 40...resubmit... line 40 again...and again...and again. *agh*

HTTP errors for some werid URLS you know those www.......com/dlreofdaflj.html ones?

I have no idea what happend, everything was going great, then all of the sudden its gone to hell and im starting from scratch :-(



 9:22 pm on May 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Many months ago I made a site map, put it up for a day and then took it down. Because this site is in the top position for a keyword pair search, Google shows it with the site map layout - even though there isn't one on the site! Apparently, Google makes their own site maps of sites that get the top position on their search results page, so deleting them from your servers might make no difference at all.


 10:02 pm on May 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not sure the multiple link layout is realted to sitemaps in any way.

I thought it is Google displaying additional links for high profile sites with or without a Google sitemap.

Who said they are linked?


 10:17 pm on May 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

> Not sure the multiple link layout is realted to sitemaps in any way.

All you have to do is hover over the URL and you'll see "smap&resnum=" in it.
(smap = site map)


 1:04 pm on May 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

I noticed some more requests for odd urls last night.


 2:22 pm on May 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ever since we have put up our sitemap we are experienceing problems with Google listing our pages.

As of now we only have 24 pages of our site listed for the longest time. Google is indexing our site regularly..

Is it possible that sitemap is getting us all the trouble?
Should I try to remove it and see what's hapenning?


 3:06 pm on May 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

The problem is that many people are attributing this update dissaster to Sitemaps (which may or may not be the culprit). The problem is that until Google actually acknowledges the mess and provides a fix we will never know.

Ps. I have never used sitemaps and I am experiencing the same problems of dissapearing pages and bouncing in and out of the serps.

In the past I have sat tight and always recovered so I will sit this one out too in the hope that google gets it's act together.


 3:19 pm on May 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

What concerns me is Google giving me the same results when I do a search for site: for the past two weeks.

No matter how I do it:

It seems that the results are pretty stable. For the past two two weeks the same results of 24 pages. No flip flopping up and down.

That's what concerns me..Maybe we are doing something wrong..something that Google does not like and that is the reason they are indexing only 24 pages.


 4:29 pm on May 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

We should all remind ourselves of one fact -- even those who "definitely recommend" submitting a sitemap -- Google Sitemaps is in Beta.

IMHO, it shouldn't be blithely adopted without an acknowledgement of risk, it shouldn't be pushed, and it shouldn't be implemented as a linchpin for what is essentially the crown jewel of Internet search.

I'm still mulling over whether or not to submit a sitemap. The only remedy Google has repeatedly offered for the losses my site has suffered over the last month is "create a sitemap."


 8:17 pm on May 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

I would get one up an running to see what happens as from what I am hearing from you it can't hurt, I have sitemaps works very well with indexing for me, allot of times it could be the databse causing the problems I have an htm site and have not experienced these issues yet.

I have seen some url errors in my site map for my subdomain only in my pervious post.

"I'm still mulling over whether or not to submit a sitemap. The only remedy Google has repeatedly offered for the losses my site has suffered over the last month is "create a sitemap."


 8:51 pm on May 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

I can see why Google would test 3 random URLs and see what comes back:

1. to test whether they get a 404 or some other response.
2. to see what your 404 page "looks" like (content should be the same on all three "pages").
3. to catch out sites that perform devious redirects on URLs that don't really exist.
4. to catch out sites that return autogenerated spam or junk content for any domain.com/keyword-keyword-keyword.html URL that you care to try out.


 10:22 pm on May 15, 2006 (gmt 0)


All issues above would cause a site not to be fully indexed, is that what you are trying to say?


 11:26 pm on May 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Maybe. Maybe not. Some of those things are the footprints of spammers.

So, if you do those things too, then...


 12:16 am on May 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am still getting weird errors in the G. Sitemaps console, even after removing the G. analytics code from the site in question. So, it appears that the errors in G. Sitemaps does not have anyting to do with the analytics code (just my theory).

But one thing that I did notice, however, is that when I removed analytics from the site in question, Googlebot visited the site more frequently -- almost immediately after removing the code.

Also, my paranoia tells me that maybe I don't want G. to know how much traffic I get. (big brother?)


 1:31 am on May 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have to say this thread gave me a "light globe moment".

Having been in sitemaps and analytics for months I was getting weary of losing pages for some of my sites and even losing sites altogether. I was trying EVERYTHING to get the sites indexed properly by Google but felt like I was banging my head against a brick wall.

After reading this thread I know the answer. The sites dropping pages are new, low traffic sites. The sites dropped from the index were very low traffic. I was using both sitemaps and analytics for those sites.

My other new low traffic sites that don't have analytics or sitemaps have all been fully indexed (they have similar inbound links and traffic patterns to the other sites, although they are not similar sites).

I feel that Google is measuring the traffic to those sites using analytics and basing their crawl and indexing patterns on the low traffic. They might be using toolbar info as well.

I have removed Google analytics from my sites today and am using PHPmyvisites instead.

I'm not sure why I am using sitemaps either. Originally I thought that it would get my sites crawled and indexed better, however even Google says something along the lines of "a sitemap will help us find URLs we can't find during our normal crawl process". So I am removing the sitemap from one of my sites and I'll see how that goes.


 2:20 am on May 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

Let us know how that goes. I removed G. analytics a week ago and do not plan on re-installing it. I think it is better that only a few select know how much traffic that site is getting and never again will I "volunteer" that valuable knowledge to anyone, even G.

But removing Sitemaps is something that I don't think I would do. Until two months ago, it worked beautifully. A new page was indexed within twenty four hours. Now, it seems Sitemaps has lost its value to webmaters in terms of getting new pages indexed...I hope this is temporary. But don't forget the G. Sitemaps console also helps in terms of "diagnostic" measures. The new "diagnostic" tab helps you to see if G. has trouble indexing your pages. This is the only reason I am keeping Sitemaps, because its original intention of "helping webmasters" to get pages indexed quickly no longer seems to work. I have read over-and-over that webmasters who use Sitemaps are not able to get new pages indexed, so it seems that its original use is no longer effective. I hope I am wrong.


 4:44 am on May 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

You don't have to have a sitemap to get the other benefits of the Sitemaps Dashboard.

You can still see all the statistics etc.


 12:54 pm on May 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have analytics and site maps, on both sites I am getting more googlebot visits.


 1:15 pm on May 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

whatcartridge ,

I think the light bulb is definitely on.
Similar situation with sites that I was using analytics on. It's been removed.


 2:16 pm on May 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

I concede...Sitemaps console is still showing 404 errors for URLs that are not even in the xml file (I have double and triple-checked). Plus last night the home page disappeared from G. index (no spam or anything shady). So, I suspect sitemaps is causing problems. Deleted that puppy - gone. Never again will I recommend sitemaps to a webmaster.


 8:11 pm on May 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

^ im with you

analytics and sitemap are now deleted!


 8:16 pm on May 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

Will deleting the site map help?

If I delete it could it do any harm? Will it hurt my site?

Our site is not being indexed regularly at this time..


 9:23 pm on May 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

I still can't see any conclusive proof that either G analytics or sitemaps have caused the issues you are referring to.

Often when things like this happened we look to the most recent issues / implementations on our sites and (falsely) attribute losing pages / rank to these elements.

I have three main sites:

First site, has had analytics and sitemaps since their inception. No loss of pages and fine ranking.

Second site, has had analytics and site maps from their inception. Enjoying loss of pages from the index daily as well as poor / in-and-out ranking

Site three - no Google site maps, no alaytics, losing pages in G then gaining then losing.

My conclusion is that this really has nothing to do with those specific elements unless they are applied incorrectly. Many sites are losing pages and getting fetched for strange url's right now.

Now as for not want Google to monitoring your traffic, this is a different story :)


 2:10 am on May 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sitemaps is a complete mess. I removed the xml file yesterday (out of complete frustration) and today I am seeing errors in my sitemaps console for SOMEONE ELSE'S DOMAIN. Pathetic.


 6:05 am on May 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

No news yet on the sites I removed analytics from.

However I have 1 new site put up less than 1 month ago that I want to share my experience about.

It is a Joomla site with a forum and a photo gallery. I have heard that Joomla sites are a bit hard to get indexed, but I thought I would experiment anyway. I tweaked the meta descriptions and meta keywords, but couldn't implement Search Engine Friendly URLs because I figure my host doesn't support it? Not sure but SEF URLs didn't work. So, the URLs look like:

So I wasn't feeling too confident

I got a couple of backlinks and that got the home page indexed after a couple of weeks. Last week got an .edu linking to the site (talk about luck!) and BAM! today all pages on the site are indexed in Google.

This is the first site of mine in a long time that has been indexed by Google before it has been indexed by Yahoo and MSN.

This site has crap URLs (see above), about 6 inbound links (albeit including 1 quality .edu link), a nearly empty forum and about 6 unique visitors a day... this site has NO sitemaps, NO analytics, NO Adsense and was NOT submitted to Google
so this proves you don't need that stuff to get indexed, just good solid backlinks, and maybe (although this is not conclusive) don't let Google know how little traffic your site is getting :-)

Bonus Question of the Day: A well known software company has a photo competition running which lets you put your URL in your profile. I wonder if those links pass PR?


 1:28 am on May 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

^ I'm running joomla too, but my SEO friendly links work.....is your .htaccess file correct?

stupid google is still has my non friendly links from 4 months ago cached still!


 5:05 am on May 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

Joomla SEF:

My host doesn't allow it :(

No probs though, it's an experiment to A) get indexed and B) get ranked with Joomla

The site itself is not important in the grand scheme of things.


 12:42 pm on May 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

you'll get indexed and get ranked.

Mine did and i didn't even know what I was doing really....heck i still don't :-P but now since google dropped me I've fallen pretty deep into the depths, i guess i'll have to find creative ways to get visitors now.


 7:56 am on May 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

OK, on the 16th of May I posted that I was removing the Google Sitemap for one of my sites. After 1 week Google dropped all pages except for the homepage. This was no big deal as these were all old pages and were still indexed using SEF unfriendly URLs. For the past 6 months I have had SEF URLs turned on.

Google had not indexed any new pages for this site since December last year. We'll see if Google adds any more pages from this site to the index. Home page is PR4.

Incidentally, I also removed analytics from all my sites on the 16th of May. After several months of NO new pages being added to the Google index for any of these sites, I now have had some new pages added (although probably not enough to make this a conclusive experiment). I'll keep you posted.


 3:08 am on Jun 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

I too am getting errors in my sitemaps where it says I have 404 errors on pages that don't even exist.

for instance:


no idea where that's coming from. I have 12 pages like that in google sitemaps.

Also, another site (pretty low traffic) that I have has dropped out of google's index according to sitemaps.

It's wierd.

I have been generating sitemaps for my forum pages.

It will not let me use the sitemaps for site.com/forum, on the site.com sitemaps account, telling me I have to use site.com/forum's account.

site.com/forum's account shows 7k pages.
site.com's sitemaps account gives me this message:

No pages from your site are currently included in Google's index. Indexing can take time. You may find it helpful to review our information for webmasters and webmaster guidelines. [?]

Googlebot last successfully accessed your home page on May 23 .

And ironically, it's telling me to submit a sitemap LOL.

I have another site that sitemaps is working very well for...

so I have no idea.

But I do know that on the first site that I mentioned, it IS showing me some REALLY CRAZY urls that don't exist. I have no idea where they are coming from.


 3:32 am on Jun 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Those look like some session id's

Does your site have session id's on?


 3:42 am on Jun 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

man I don't even know what session ID's are :).

I'm not submitting sitemaps for that site though, it's just signed up for sitemaps.

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