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Would it help or hurt SE positioning to add some text beside each link to make it a little more human friendly? Like:
<blue widgets> - Info on different blue widgets
<red widgets> - Red Widgets from company A, B, & C
<green widgets> - The best green widgets to use
I don't want to do something to my sitemap to spoil it in the engines, as it seems to be working pretty good at the moment.
It's possibly best to have a description next to the link. This helps your page from looking like a link farm. The page then looks like it contains relevant content as opposed to a bunch of links. Also the page should not contain too many links. Possibly 25 to 50 links per page. And as far as the page setup, it can be a set of sitemap pages each one linking to the next.
And finally, the benefits of setting it up this way is that you'll end of with more pages of content for your site.
This is only advice. I have not setup any sitemap this way.
Well, i hope this helps.
My main concern was that google or yahoo would think this was some sort of word stuffing. It sure doesn't look very "human friendly" now.
This is the first time I've read that. Would a sitemap with 100 links to site pages simply not get all of the links indexed?
ALso, would I be better off to have the description within the anchor tags, or does it matter to the search engine?
Basically you just place a simple XML file at the root of your site full of your URLs. When you update your pages, you update the sitemap to show the last modification dates. You can also supply hints - and they are hints, not commands - as to when you want each page to be re-crawled.
Google supplies a free python script to make your sitemap. If you have shell access to your web server, and it has python, then you can use google's sitemap tool.
If you don't, a simple text file listing each of your URLs will do, but can't contain the modification dates or update frequencies. Another alternative would be to run the sitemap tool on your own local mirror of your site and then upload the file. Python is available for most operating systems at [python.org...]
I don't have a sitemap yet but expect I will make one sometime soon, as I am now devoted to my site full-time.
Also, if someone has the time to have a quick look at my sitemap and tell me if you think it looks ok (or if it stinks!), please sticky me. I'll shoot you the URL.
I've got to learn about XML
I haven't tried Google sitemaps, but I don't think you need to know much about XML to use Google's tool. If you use the tool, it creates the XML for you.
The format of the file is very simple as XML goes. Anyone who has ever hand-edited an HTML file would be able to understand it. There's an explanation of the format at the link I gave, and it's really very simple.
...which leads back to my original question... Is there a rule of thumb of how many links is a maximum number that should be on a single site map page? I've seen some folks say no more that 50, some say there is no limit, and others who have said they had several hundred on their site map. Currently my site map has about 70 internal links on it... Does anyone know if I should I break that up, of leaver it as is?
Is there a rule of thumb of how many links is a maximum number that should be on a single site map page
Google’s Webmaster Guidelines [google.com] suggest keeping links on a page to 100 or less. If you’re looking to please Google I would take a moment and read this information.
A site map was not originally intended to be a road map for a wandering spider or bot. You will also see in Google’s Webmaster Guidelines that they want you to build your pages with your visitors in mind.
Ask yourself if you think a description next to each of the links in your site map would be beneficial. If the answer is yes then put one in - If the answer is no the leave it out.
Personally, I create my site maps thinking that a human might actually use them for navigational purposes. Anchor text links, descriptions, hierarchy… the whole nine-yards. Oddly enough, the search engine spiders seem to like them too ;).