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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?
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.
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.
BD is a mess, ergo it must be sitemaps.
I have lost loads of pages over many sites and I have never:
Done even one link exchange
Bought a link
Cloaked or scraped.
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
The only thing wrong, in my circumstances, is Big Daddy
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?
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.
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.
Just waiting for it to sort itself out, but it has surely contributed to the fall in our G traffic, down 90%.
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.
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.
"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! :)
I've used G sitemaps since it hatched... without any problemperiod. 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.