Google Sitemaps & Page Rank
Interview with Vanessa Fox From Google Sitemaps
In this interview Vanessa talks about:
- Value of Page Rank
- Value of SiteMaps
- Text to Code Ratio
Duplicate Content Filter & Penalty
Question: Are sites penalised for duplicate content or do you just
filter it out?
Vanessa: If Google sees information on a site that is duplicate
of its own pages, or very similar such as the same page linked to
under different classifications or multiple URL’s[using different
URL names] to same page – No penalties apply to this type
But filtering occurs. Google doesn't want to show 10 URL’s
that all go to the same page. If you don’t care which one
is indexed, Google picks one. If you want to pick – use your
sitemap and submit your preference or use redirect functions.
Where pages are very similar, the same applies. Instead make pages
Code To Text Ratio
Question: Does Google care about Code:Text ratio?
Vanessa: Many sites using php includes –
Google doesn’t care – they ignore the code, but pick
up the text of the includes.
Question: Does Google have a preference for the
format of the submitted sitemap?
Vanessa: No. It accepts multiple formats of sitemaps:
RSS Feeds, XML, OAIPMH, Text File. Do the one easiest.
- If you have a blog – just use your RSS Feed.\
- If you don’t know XML – do a text file
- If you can build a script that updates from the database to
update the XML files
Question: What about Optional Attributes?
Vanessa: These are not required. However, the
Priority Number helps. Understand that iIf set all pages to
priority = 1, this does not mean that Google views all these pages
are gold. It means you think all your pages have the same rank.
It signals to Google Bots what pages to focus spidering before others.
For instance, setting your Home page priority of 1 is only relative
to own site. Its not about ranking.
Question: Do Sitemaps impact page ranking?
Vanessa: Site maps don’t impact ranking,
other than helping Google find all your pages.
Question: Can you explain about page ranking?
Vanessa: There are several types of Page Rank
- Toolbar page rank
- Server page rank
- Sitemap page ranking [page priority ranking]
The toolbar page rank doesn’t get updated that often. People
get too hung up on it. There are so many things that go into getting
your site index. Don’t get fixated on Toolbar number.
Information on how the Google servers rank YOUR site pages is given
to you if you verify with Google as a site owner. You cannot use
the tools to see the ranking of your competition.
Question: What about those who only seek out backlinks
from sites that have a page rank of 4 and higher?
Vanessa: Google is more interested to see backlinks
from from relevant pages, ignore what the referring page rank is.
Question: Is it possible in the future we may
see Google data inside sitemaps?
Vanessa: Sitemap is a poor SEO choice for a competent
webmaster. If you think you need this to get your site indexed,
you are doing a poor job of everything else.
Why do you have to choose. Do the external backlinks, internal
links, unique content, valuable content, sitemap,
Value of Sitemap
Question: Explain when a Sitemap is valuable?
Vanessa: When site is new, when a site is
dynamic – hard to see all links – e.g pages behind a
Question: What is the most important optional
information to include?
Vanessa: Optional Attribute Information:
most important are:
- Last Modified
- Change Frequency
The Sitemap is only used for crawling, not ranking.
Monster Content Sites
Question: What about very large content sites
that hae lot of pages indexed, and a lot not indexed. Should you
can submit sitemap of all pages, or just pages not yet indexed.
Vanessa: whatever you prefer. If you have
internally linked your site well, Google will find most pages anyway,
and we may be looking at those back of form pages again following
the input from this conference.
Notable Comment: "Google wants collaboration
with site owners"
Editors Note: Please note that the above is a summarised version
of the interview transcript and is not intended as quotes or undertakings
from either the interviewer, Vanessa or Google. To
hear the full interview.
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