Tag Archives: Google+

Sitemaps

What are Sitemaps?

GPS for Google :)

Sitemaps are files added to / linked to / attached to your website that tells Google all it needs to know about the website. More specifically it lists all the pages that form part of the site. Why would / should one waste time and effort on this? A Sitemap can “explain” your site to Google (and other Search Engines) when the ‘crawlers’ won’t necessarily find all the information for themselves. This can easily be the case when you use dynamic content, AJAX files, pages that are not clearly linked to each other, complex page hierarchy and back-link system.

Sitemaps can also be used to share metadata about specific types of files. “For example, a video Sitemap entry can specify the running time, category, and family-friendly status of a video; an image Sitemap entry can provide information about an image‚Äôs subject matter, type, and license.” (About Sitemaps – Google Webmaster Tools)

How do I create my Sitemap?

Google uses the Sitemap 0.9 protocol and the same file can easily be submitted to Bing and Yahoo. When you create your Sitemap:

  1. Make sure your website has an active, updated Sitemap that lists all the pages on your website.
  2. Don’t list more than 50 000 URL’s (seriously) in one document. If your site has more links / pages to list, you will have to consider submitting multiple Sitemaps.
  3. Check how to specify your URL’s and use the same (approved / prefered) format consistently through-out the site.
  4. Specify how often your page is likely to be updated as well as when it was last updated.

So what should you do now?

When your Sitemap is ready and up-to-date, you can submit to Google, Yahoo, Bing etc etc. None of the Search Engines guarantee placement based on the fact that your site has a Sitemap but it definitely helps their crawlers to wrap themselves around your website and get to grips with the full extent of it.

The way I see it, the more the Search Engine can find about you, the better for your overall Search Engine results.

If all of this still appears to be an alien dialect to you and you desperately want to wrap your head around SEO, Online Marketing, Search Engines and Sitemaps, feel free to speak to me (junkies@adrinalinconcept.co.za) today!

Ciao for now.

Diva, out.

Advertisements

Google+ and the social tendencies of today

The biggest challenge we still face with Social Media (as South African SMME’s) is the fact that it is, well, so social. Clients and colleagues alike complain (time-and-time again) that their Social Media Networking strategies are too time consuming. I believe we need to cultivate a culture of focused activity. We need to find create a plan that will empower us to implement social networking activities without the risk of getting lost in the rabbit holes.

According to Mashable Google+ is now open and available to everyone. No invitation required! Yay? Well, not really. For us local folk, this adds just another online networking platform that needs to be maintained, managed and fed with current, relevant and up to date information. Even more time needed.

Let me be clear. This problem is not a Google creation – it is of our own design and making. We need to manage our time more effeciently if we hope to create sustainable online strategies. So the million-dollar (or rand in our case) question – can it be done?

Yes.

Here’s how:

  1. Plan ahead. If you know where you are going, you can (pre)-create some of your input and use an automated publishing tool (i.e. HootSuite) to make your life a whole lot easier! The added advantage of using an automated publishing tool, means that you hardly ever run the risk of getting caught up in the online intrigues of loves lost and found or the latest company gossip.
  2. Dedicated time. First thing in the morning or in the afternoons before you get ready to punch out, put time aside to interact with your online communities.
  3. Pick and stick. As tempting as it is to create a profile on every new social networking platform that springs up, it is impossible (and unnecessary) to maintain this level of engagement. Review the platforms that you are most interested in (this typically should be driven by where your preferred market congregates) and focus your energy here. Quality versus quantity as the saying goes.

So, despite having a blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube profile – will I create a Google+ account. Probably. But I have always been more curious than is good for me ;)

Diva, done and dusted!