How to easily keep Google updated when you change or add new content to your WordPress blog
Posted on 19th March, 2006
When I created my blogs, one thing that I’ve always looked forward to is to have them indexed by Google and have all the new posts appear in Google search result as soon as possible. So if you are like, I suggest you give Google Sitemaps a try. However, you do not have to use Sitemaps to have you pages crawled but the hints you offer in the Sitemap will help Google do a better job than regular crawl.
Sitemaps allow you to tell Google crawler to crawl all the URLs they should be crawling, and how often they should be recrawled. Ultimately, the benefits are more of your pages can be included in Google Index and their freshness is maintained.
Google Sitemaps isn’t a new service, it was launched in June 2005 but the seemingly complex concept and setup may have discouraged some webmasters/bloggers from using this service.
Adding a sitemap into your blog is actually fairly straight forward with the help of a plugin. Here’s what you have to do:
- Download and install the Google Sitemap Generator plugin from Arne Barchhold.
- Just follow the setup instructions. Once installed, you can leave the default configuration for this plugin as it is if you want. Don’t forget to click the ‘Rebuild Sitemap’ button (Options > Sitemap) to create your sitemap for the first time.
- Sign in to Google Sitemaps with you Google Account. You’ll need to create a Google Account if you haven’t done it already.
- When inside your Sitemap account, click on the ‘Add’ tab and select the ‘General Web Sitemap’ option and click Next.
- Add the sitemap which was generated in Step 2 above.
That’s all to it! Well if you want to some learn more, the Sitemaps FAQ goes into depth on many more details.
Every time you edit/publish/delete a post, your sitemap will be regenerated automatically. Google will be notified of the changes and you’ll have the new content crawled without waiting for the regular crawl to resume.
So will Google crawl and index all of the URLs in your Sitemap? They do not guarantee that they’ll crawl or index all of your URLs. However, they use the data in your Sitemap to learn about your site’s structure, which will allow them to improve their crawler schedule and do a better job crawling your site in the future.
While you are logged in your Sitemaps account, I’d recommend you to have a look around the site stats section. It includes a plethora of useful information such as the Page analysis which shows the statistics on how Google crawler (Googlebot) sees your site.
The Query stats section shows your top search queries and top search query clicks. Now you can have the opportunity to monetize all the pages that receive top queries and top clicks to the fullest.