June 2, 2005
Google is offering a new free service called Google Sitemaps where site owners can generate XML files of URLs they’d like crawled by google. The sitemap protocol allows for fields that specify change dates/frequencies but most interesting is the ability to give pages a relative “priority” to tell Google this is a page you find more important than another page. I can see the SEO optimizers drooling now.
Google, from their sitemaps help, states:
Google Sitemaps is an experiment in web crawling. Using Sitemaps to inform and direct our crawlers, we hope to expand our coverage of the web and improve the time to inclusion in our index. By placing a Sitemap-formatted file on your webserver, you enable our crawlers to find out what pages are present and which have recently changed, and to crawl your site accordingly.
Basically, the two steps to participating in Google Sitemaps are:
1. Generate a Sitemap in the correct format using Sitemap Generator.
2. Update your Sitemap when you make changes to your site.
UPDATE: There’s a drop-in page for wordpress users.