Search Marketing Consultant

Web Marketing & Search Engine Consultant

SES London 2010 – Syndicating Content Via XML, RSS & Site Maps

Sante's presentation on sitemaps at Search Engine Strategies London, 2010, on Syndicating Content Via XML, RSS & Site Maps

I was totally taken by surprise today by all the people attending this session as we were competing with other very good sessions and speakers – I’d like to thank all those who participated and made it a very successful and interesting.

For those of you who were not there today I was sitting on a panel with my friend and Ninja SEO Mikkel deMib Svendsen.

Mikkel gave a very through overview of XML and some great pointers on how to use sitemaps especially when migrating a new website architecture.

Then it was my turn and I gave my point of view substantiated by a very recent case history where a significant number of web pages was indexed by Google without the use of sitemaps but by fixing some “broken” website architecture.

I made the statement that in my opinion sitemaps have been actively promoted by the search engines (especially Google) because of the poor quality of website architecture that they are faced with, so bad (the website architecture) that they are relying on sitemaps to help them.

The conclusion of our panel was:

  • You don’t need sitemaps to get your content spidered and indexed in the search engines
  • You do need good website architecture to get your pages indexed
  • Sitemaps do not guarantee rankings if you don’t have enough inbound links to beat your competitors (I know that’s simplying it a bit but it gives the right idea)

And yet there are very well known and respected authorities who are using sitemaps as an integral part of their strategy – what’s your experience ? Share your opinion and wisdom.

If you were attending the conference and honored me with your presence please leave a comment

2 Replies

  1. I would rather have the XML sitemap than not on a new site. For an existing site, if there is an indexing problem, adding a sitemap may help but the lack of a sitemap usually indicates that the Website structure is too weak.

    If a site has one or more sitemaps and still has an indexing problem, then something else is probably going on.

    So sitemaps in themselves serve useful purposes other than merely helping get sites crawled. They change the environment enough that they can speed or enhance the diagnostic process for sites that have issues.

    1. Yes that was a point raised in the Q&A session – sitemaps as a tool to measure the “state of health” of your website and yes that can be a meaningful way to put sitemaps to use 🙂