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Removing the Google sitemap got all my pages indexed

 12:39 am on Jun 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

On the 25th of May I wrote:

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.

It seems this experiment was successful. After bringing back the old 35 pages as supplemental for a few weeks, Google re-indexed the whole site and now has all 119 pages from the site, from all depths, in the index, without any supplementals. These pages are ranking well for the chosen terms as well.

I had a feeling submitting a sitemap is a waste of time, I know one site's results does not prove it, but I won't be wasting my time submitting sitemaps for any new sites I do. I must say though that having a sitemaps *account* (without the sitemap submitted) is VERY handy to check Google's crawlling problems with your site/s.

Now I am going to remove the sitemaps for 2 other poorly indexed sites I manage and see how they go. I'll keep you posted.



 12:37 am on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

When you say sitemaps, do you mean an insite sitemap or the use of Google sitempas service?


 3:57 am on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Same here. The Google sitemap service did my Wordpress blogs more harm than good. Removed the sitemap, and my pages are now indexed AND ranked well.


 7:24 am on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi GenerationTalk

When you say sitemaps, do you mean an insite sitemap or the use of Google sitempas service?

I'll just make it clear:
I still use the Google sitemap service to check for indexing problems, missed pages, 404's etc - but I took away my sitemap - so Google had no idea what was on this site unless they spidered it themselves.

I also didn't have a sitemap on the site itself. The main page did have a PR of 4 so Google went deep enough and fetched and indexed all pages.

On another site I started less than 3 weeks ago, I put a sitemap on the index page, and Google has already indexed the whole site (although there are only 22 pages on the site). This was a brand new site, however it was an old domain I resurrected (it had not been used for 3 years). It had only 2 links pointing to it too, 1 x .gov and 1 I added 2 weeks ago. It's been a long while since I've seen Google index a site so quickly, they even beat MSN on this one!


 7:52 am on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I see now, I may just give that technique a go.
My <edited> website was spidered within 4 weeks, but my <other site> was spidered within 4 days as it is linked to <edited> website which is high traffic.

<Sorry, no website specifics.
See Forum Charter [webmasterworld.com]>

[edited by: tedster at 2:04 pm (utc) on June 28, 2006]


 9:01 am on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

We lost traffic from Google for three different websites all around the same time as yours. This was because all of a sudden G was only indexing the home page of each site.

They all use G sitemaps and have all came back today, so I personally don't think it has anything to do with sitemaps.


 10:37 am on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

i thought it was a sitemap issue too, i removed mine and rankings have been restored but i think it has to do more with the recent refresh of supplemental pages. cant remember where i saw it but there was a post on a google blog that there ws a refresh happening. more to do with this i would say.

the medical community has been in uproar: how many unique ways can you describe the common cold? therefore how much duplication occurs across online medical journals etc. So they all suffer because of duplication? filters might have been adjusted slightly releasing some sites. obviously large chunks replicated across sites is going to fall short, but i think they hit it a bit hard when BD was rolled out.


 1:41 pm on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

How about for clarity:



sitemap.htm or .html (or asp or php)

I actually found a site whose hyperllink to the "Site map" actually went to the sitemap.xml file; useless for a site visitor!

Either way refering to a "sitemap.xml" file makes it all clear.

I recently dumped one of my sitemap.xml files too, but more out of concern for lack of indexing of image files (.jpg .gif, etc. not in my xml file)

(Off Topic) But I actually think it was the Frame buster code that was preventing Google from indexing any new images; and Yahoo had removed all my images! Yahoo hates frame buster code (for images at least)!


 1:59 pm on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

i have a site which since march lost half of it's pages in the index. a week ago I uploaded a sitemap, and all pages came back, but half as supplemental! now, all pages are supplemental and searches from google are down to a few from hundreds - so I just deleted the sitemap and monitor for progress.

handsome rob

 2:32 pm on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Testing this theory here too... currently in supplemental hell. I'll let everyone know the outcome.


 9:15 pm on Jun 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think this probably has something to do with Google adjusting their algo. They are still working through all of the spam sites that have recently attacked them, not to mention adjustments in sitemaps. The sites I have been working have seen sudden drops in index and then a sudden additions back to were they where or higher. Their SERPS have not changed as much though.


 11:51 pm on Jun 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

I still use the Google sitemap service to check for indexing problems, missed pages, 404's etc - but I took away my sitemap - so Google had no idea what was on this site unless they spidered it themselves.

After reading the first post of this thread, I decided to remove the sitemap, but know I'm not getting any info about my site. So I take it that I should have removed the sitemap from the site and get a 404 error as opposed to deleting the entry in google sitemaps?


 12:29 am on Jul 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

I removed the sitemap in my Google sitemaps account. I wouldn't recommend doing it though unless your whole site is spiderable (i.e. every page is linked from another page so the Googlebot can find every page on your site).

All the sites I have put up after Big Daddy was introduced get crawled and indexed with no problems whatsoever - even a Joomla CMS site without SEF URLs. It is only sites that were put up before Big Daddy that have had problems, and I put it down to three things (in order of importance, bearing in mind that they have good content):

1) Not enough quality inbound links
2) Having Google Analytics on the site (why let Google know about your traffic? If they see low traffic, they aint gonna index ya!)
3) Having Google Sitemaps - once again, maybe it's better to keep Google in the dark - let them keep crawling to find out how many pages we have.

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