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Google Sitemaps "Shouldn't" Hurt Your Domain
... ummm, that didn't sound good.
internetheaven




msg:724161
 9:57 am on May 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

From a recent Matt Cutts blog:

Mike B, Iíve talked to the sitemaps folks a lot. Having a sitemap for your site should *never* hurt your domain.

Fantastic, not only did he use the word should instead of will, he also stuck the word never in asterixes just to kick me when I'm down. I've heard all the scare stories on these boards about "I started using Google sitemaps and my house exploded the very next day" but does anyone have any clear research linking Google sitemaps with actual issues with ranking/crawling?

 

Stefan




msg:724162
 2:23 am on May 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

I read that too, and had to smile. Maybe he's right, and it's just a coincidence that people have problems soon after doing it, but I don't know... like you, I've read a lot of posts saying "I started using Google sitemaps and my house exploded the very next day". Maybe they were taken out by BD and it just seemed that way. Maybe not.

So, nothing really to contribute in this other than I have no intention of using it, but I'll bump it up in case others have a better handle on it.

g1smd




msg:724163
 11:21 am on May 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

My take is that joining sitemaps is a very poor substitute for making a site search engine friendly in the first place.

It is a shortcut that might not get you where you want to go. Remember: Xenu LinkSleuth is really your friend.

1script




msg:724164
 1:11 pm on May 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've not completed the investigation yet, but I do have a site where I suspect having a sitemap *DOES* hurt.

The sitemap had been added to my Google Sitemaps account at the stage where the sitemap did not have all the pages listed, only one (very large) section of the site. The URLs were fine, double-checked working. About one month after adding the sitemap the entire section of the site is gone from the index. Literally, all pages listed in the sitemap are gone. The only pages remained are those *NOT* listed in the sitemap. Even those pages were later decimated by recent Big Daddy disaster.
Kinda hard to believe Sitemaps did not have anything to do with it.

phantombookman




msg:724165
 1:32 pm on May 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

Look at the timing, sitemaps were being pushed at the same time as this long-running big daddy fiasco and many must have recently signed up.

BD is a mess, ergo it must be sitemaps.

I have lost loads of pages over many sites and I have never:
Joined sitemaps
Done even one link exchange
Bought a link
Cloaked or scraped.

I have:
Handwritten and researched every page
Unique titles, description and .htm file names
Gotten links from many sites, all one-way and unsolicited
All sites are minimum PR4
etc etc

The only thing wrong, in my circumstances, is Big Daddy

spinweb




msg:724166
 1:53 pm on May 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

I had a similar thing where I had 73 pages in the Google index, then entered the Sitemaps program and the next day dropped to 43 pages and I am now down to 40 pages.

I am thinking of getting the site out of Sitemaps and hopefully seeing the indexed pages return to 73. Would that be a good move? Or would I be worse off?

asher02




msg:724167
 4:03 pm on May 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

I use site maps and it helps only to let Google know that you have uploaded new pages. Just remember that it is not a substitute to a real site map which can help pushing some PR to level 3 & 4 pages.

internetheaven




msg:724168
 4:41 pm on May 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

Maybe I can help a little with some of your concerns. From what I read I believe a lot of you created/uploaded your Google sitemaps several weeks ago and then noticed that your pages started disappearing from the Google index. If you read other threads this was also happening widely to people WITHOUT a Google Sitemap ... with me being one of them.

I think that the huge losses in pages is a problem un-related to Google Sitemaps as the problem seems to be irrespective of whether you have a Google Sitemap or not.

Angonasec




msg:724169
 4:44 pm on May 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've used G sitemaps since it hatched... without any problem, until BD.

For the last 6 weeks my G sitemap 'errors' stats are plain wrong. It has lots of 404 errors IN SITEMAP. The relevant urls have NOT been on the site OR IN the sitemap since the files were deleted six weeks ago.

The 'errors' bear dates long after the sitemap was updated. Clearly they are using some old cached version of my sitemap.

G bot sucks up the latest sitemap everyday, but the account stats still show the erroneous errors from an old one.

Pathetic.

Just waiting for it to sort itself out, but it has surely contributed to the fall in our G traffic, down 90%.

1script




msg:724170
 12:56 am on May 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

Maybe I can help a little with some of your concerns. From what I read I believe a lot of you created/uploaded your Google sitemaps several weeks ago and then noticed that your pages started disappearing from the Google index. If you read other threads this was also happening widely to people WITHOUT a Google Sitemap ... with me being one of them.

Well, I submitted my sitemap in late November 2005, and *ALL* pages listed in the sitemap are gone from Google index in late January 06. So, to correct my earlier post here it was two months betwen sitemap submission and the fall-out and no, it was not recent although Big Daddy was in full swing already by then

internetheaven




msg:724171
 12:37 pm on May 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've used G sitemaps since it hatched... without any problem, until BD.

I think that's truth, it is Big Daddy that is causing the page loss, not sitemaps. I'd be interested to know what fallout can actually occur from using sitemaps ... does Matt Cutts post on these boards?

gendude




msg:724172
 1:27 pm on May 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

Matt Cutts is on vacation and will be on vacation for quite a while (several weeks I believe, somebody said 6 weeks, but I highly doubt that anybody in his position would take a 6-week vacation right in the middle of all of these problems).

If he does post, it'll be a while before he comes back.

You are better off addressing Adam Lasnik, he does post here, and has posted recently.

texasville




msg:724173
 1:38 pm on May 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have a small 14 page site mostly devoted to an annual event show. It was launched in February, fully indexed and then suddenly in April the pages started falling out. Gog down to NONE in the index and then up to two, including the sitemap page and the index page.
Last week I gave up and made a Google sitemap and submitted it. Yesterday most of the pages were back. This morning they were all back. Fully indexed.

Angonasec




msg:724174
 8:52 am on May 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Internet heaven commented:

"I think that's truth, it is Big Daddy that is causing the page loss, not sitemaps. I'd be interested to know what fallout can actually occur from using sitemaps"

That's not the point I was making, by showing how sitemaps had affected our G traffic.

I'm sure that sitemaps HAS got a lot to do with it.

NB// The correct sitemap is picked up daily, and passes as OK, WITH the updated date in the Sitemaps interface...

BUT the http errors shows IN SITEMAP url 404s with OLD dates (when the url was NOT in the sitemap. They are using an obsolete sitemap cache, despite knowing, and confirming it is obsolete.)

Threfore feeding dud 404 info to the algo PR.

That is bound to be deleterious to our site, in addition to any damage done by BD itself.

The test would be to delete our G sitemaps, and sitemapps account, then see if traffic picks up.

If they don't fix the bug soon, I may well do that.

C'mon Vanessa Fox, wake up! :)

DaveAtIFG




msg:724175
 2:58 pm on May 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've used G sitemaps since it hatched... without any problem
period. Full stop.

I've seen no detrimental effects across a half dozen sites and an indexing/rankings improvement for one of those sites. My natural caution led me to not include them all under the same Google account though. Most were submitted under client accounts.

texasville




msg:724176
 4:39 pm on May 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>>>>My natural caution led me to not include them all under the same Google account though. Most were submitted under client accounts.<<<<

Absolutely. Never put them all under one account. It is not g's business to know how many sites you manage or which ones.

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