Google Sitemap

As a Liverpool based SEO company, sometimes you need to get a little bit of perspective in regards to tried and tested techniques.

This week I’ve been talking to my friends over at SEO Manchester about Google Sitemaps. Is there still a value in submitting a Sitemap to Google?  In our opinion, if a site has very poor navigation and on-page SEO, submitting a Sitemap might be your only alternative. But for well optimised sites, is there a benefit in submitting a Sitemap file to Google?

Here are some important points

  • The Last modification date field in the sitemap file can aid Google in quickly locating the actual change in the page. John at Google explained that Google might not have time to crawl all the pages you said changed, so if you specify the actual change in the Sitemap file, it will be easier for Google to pick up on those changes.
  • The Priority, Change frequency is a lot like the last mod date. If you give Google data that “makes sense”, i.e. don’t list 100% of your pages as the most important page on your site, then it can be useful to Google.

Googles Advice States;

   * Yes, please send us Sitemap files, preferably sitemap.org XML files!
   * Work on good URLs & use them to double-check your site's navigation
   * Optional: Date or change frequency? depends on how you work.
   * Also optional: Priority

In conclusion, if you have good solid navigation, you may not need them. But why take the risk! Webmaster tools is an incredibly valuable tool that enables you to check any issues with each indexed page.

 

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Old School SEO… The Sacrificial Website

At SEO Liverpool we try to look over old techniques for driving traffic to particular digital assets. Last week we started talking about the sacrificial site.

You’ve all seen full page adverts in magazines, at certain points it can be beneficial to move this offline advertising strategy to online.  Internet marketing and leveraging websites can help replicate this strategy for your business. A lifestyle magazine will generate ad revenue for a client in an almost totally unrelated field, just through sheer value of people using that site.

So if you’re looking to generate sales, either via affiliate links or to a product, then create two sites. One for the product and one for ads.

Important Point – The first point is ad sites are penalised depending on the amount and position of the adverts. We’ve found this particularly with Ad Sense.

Important Point  – The second point, it will be beneficial to host your domains on unique IPs, which can result in a big advantage for you in terms of search engine rankings and to help stop getting penalised.

How The Sacrificial Site Works

Let me explain… A good example would be a website in a competitive category, such as Travel . Advertise your digital camera site on it. The two are related as complimentary sites but one generates income for the other. You own both, and one site will advertise on the other.

E.g.

Jokes and funny t-shirts. The joke site itself, has very few jokes on it. It acts more like a directory leading to other joke sites. There are a total of 10 internal pages with different categories of jokes. On each category page, You would list 5-10 joke websites, with a quick two sentence review, taken from the headline of each destination site.

So what’s the purpose of my jokes site? It’s to sell or generate traffic referrals to t-shirt sites. To the visitor, it looks like a directory of the top 50 joke sites, with ads strategically placed on it. It’s really just a way to leverage the entire jokes site to advertise another product. If you find a popular category, you will make sales due to the amount of traffic you can generate. You’ll also generate a varied link profile as you leverage one web property to advertise another.

Evaluation

It can be a lot of work. It will cost you to set up. It will be a disater if not implemented correctly.  But… I do think in some situations it’s a valid strategy, and it is proven to generate income for certain businesses. Affiliate links will probably get the most value but those sites with affilate links to Amazon can generate serious revenues.

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