10.18.07

What is a Google Site Map and Why You Sould Use It

From: http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=40318&topic=8514

You can use a sitemap file to tell Google about all the pages on your site and to provide information about those pages, such as which are most important and how often they change. Sitemaps are particularly helpful if your site has dynamic content, pages that aren't easily discovered by following links, or if your site is new and has few links to it.

Sitemaps helps speed up the discovery of your pages, which is an important first step in crawling and indexing your pages, but there are many other factors that influence the crawling/indexing processes. Sitemaps lets you tell Google information about your pages (which ones you think are most important, how often the pages change), so you can have a voice in these subsequent steps. Other factors include:

A sitemap provides an additional view into your site (just as your home page and HTML site map do), but sitemaps do not replace our normal methods of crawling the web. Google still searches and indexes your sites in the normal way, whether or not you use this program, and sites are never penalized for using this service.
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