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    Why I fear Google sitemaps...


    After several threads of me "bashing" Google sitemaps, I thought I should just write out real quickly why I believe Google sitemaps ultimately will not improve your SERPs and, if anything, may cause harm in the long run.

    (1) Google Sitemaps violates the entire search engine algo trends of the last 5 years: think "self-reported".

    a: Google prefers non-self-reported information: backlinks from different domains, different class-ips, and relevant sites are far more powerful than "self-reported" on-site optimization techniques. Similarly, Google would prefer deep-links, good anchor text, and what your site says about itself rather than how you frame it in an xml file you submit to them.

    b: Google prefers the natural: In the same way that google prefers to find your url rather than submit it, likewise it may prove better for google to find your pages rather than submit them. Google must ask the question - why do you need your pages to be submitted this way? Can they not be easily found by 1-2-or 3 links through your site?

    c: Google knows that individuals using the Sitemap are Search Engine Savvy and impatient. Lets face it, you want your stuff listed via google sitemaps because you want all your pages indexed NOW. You can't wait. You can't get backlinks to accomplish it. You don't link to these pages well enough in your site to get picked up. You are willing to take short-cuts. You know about Google Sitemaps most likely because you have been frequenting SEO news sites and forums.

    So lets go through this really quick:

    (1) Google has no reason to trust the sitemap submitter
    (2) Google has lots of reasons not to trust the submitter
    (3) Google Sitemaps is frequented by SEOers
    (4) Sitemaps are needed only by those who cannot or will not get indexed naturally
    (5) Sitemaps would allow creation of search-engine-only pages, which Google opposes

    I guess what I am saying is this: It would be stupid as hell for Google to start using Sitemaps to map the internet. That kind of data just cannot be trusted.

    On the otherhand, if I had a list of all of the sites submitted to Google Sitemaps and I were google, I would go through them 1-by-1 looking for patent SEO like reciprocal link exchanges, coops, duplicate content, etc.

    Right now, Google is collecting the largest list of desparate, seo webmasters known to mankind.

    My 2 cents
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    so its a trap?
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    Not a trap...


    I dont think that it is a trap - not exactly at least.

    I just am highly skeptical that a site that gets indexed because of google sitemaps will perform as well as one that gets indexed naturally - in the same manner that I am and many of us are skeptical that a site that gets indexed by site submission will perform as well as one that is indexed naturally (by following a link from a medium-to-high PR website).
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    Why wouldn't you say the same thing about AdWords, for example? Do you think Google is going to use AdWords to penalize web sites because they resorted to buying their position somewhere on Google's pages?

    Google has to keep the techies, both web site developers and web site users, happy to continue to dominate. That's what got them where they are, and the opposite is what got Yahoo into 2nd place. If Google can help web site developers get their sites fully indexed they'll continue to buy Google products (AdWords, etc) and continue to push people to search via Google (Google site search, etc). If 25% of web site developers post a "Search with MSN" toolbar at the top of their site because Google screwed them over Google would surely be in trouble.

    And, as someone else pointed out on another thread, they're simply making us do their work for them, which is smart.

    Comments on this post

    • WeRASkitzzo agrees : well put and you beat me to the punch, I apparently took too long typing
    • digidogstudios agrees
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  9. SEO Chat Good Citizen (1000 - 1499 posts)

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    Originally Posted by rjonesx
    After several threads of me "bashing" Google sitemaps, I thought I should just write out real quickly why I believe Google sitemaps ultimately will not improve your SERPs and, if anything, may cause harm in the long run.

    (1) Google Sitemaps violates the entire search engine algo trends of the last 5 years: think "self-reported".

    a: Google prefers non-self-reported information: backlinks from different domains, different class-ips, and relevant sites are far more powerful than "self-reported" on-site optimization techniques. Similarly, Google would prefer deep-links, good anchor text, and what your site says about itself rather than how you frame it in an xml file you submit to them.

    b: Google prefers the natural: In the same way that google prefers to find your url rather than submit it, likewise it may prove better for google to find your pages rather than submit them. Google must ask the question - why do you need your pages to be submitted this way? Can they not be easily found by 1-2-or 3 links through your site?

    c: Google knows that individuals using the Sitemap are Search Engine Savvy and impatient. Lets face it, you want your stuff listed via google sitemaps because you want all your pages indexed NOW. You can't wait. You can't get backlinks to accomplish it. You don't link to these pages well enough in your site to get picked up. You are willing to take short-cuts. You know about Google Sitemaps most likely because you have been frequenting SEO news sites and forums.

    So lets go through this really quick:

    (1) Google has no reason to trust the sitemap submitter
    (2) Google has lots of reasons not to trust the submitter
    (3) Google Sitemaps is frequented by SEOers
    (4) Sitemaps are needed only by those who cannot or will not get indexed naturally
    (5) Sitemaps would allow creation of search-engine-only pages, which Google opposes

    I guess what I am saying is this: It would be stupid as hell for Google to start using Sitemaps to map the internet. That kind of data just cannot be trusted.

    On the otherhand, if I had a list of all of the sites submitted to Google Sitemaps and I were google, I would go through them 1-by-1 looking for patent SEO like reciprocal link exchanges, coops, duplicate content, etc.

    Right now, Google is collecting the largest list of desparate, seo webmasters known to mankind.

    My 2 cents
    Well let me be the first (EDIT: I was the first when I started typing this) (of I am sure many) to poke some holes in this. Google is not relying on what you say about your site. It is a sitemap. They are accepting you telling them that there is a page here. Why would I as a sitemap use want to lie about where a page might be? Its nonsense. Also, why would this be something that they would want to spend the resources to find on my own? If I am looking to rate all the pizza joints in my town would I want to have to drive around town til I find all the pizza joints or would I want to have a map of where they all are so that I can then go and rate them?
    Another problem I have with your argument is this; the sitemap tool is G's first stop into the xml world. They know that more and more people are using xml as are more and more relevant top of the line sites (cnn, espn just to name a couple). Therefor, this tool has a huge potential for plenty of people other than those of us in SEO and has gotten tons of press in plenty of places other than SEO forums etc.
    Take off your aluminium foil helmet, stop trying to find the alien that killed Kennedy and retreated to his safe-house in area51. The sitemap tool is not only a tool that can help webmasters get their pages indexed, it is a tool that people are using voluntarily to basically do G's work for them. </dissertation>

    Comments on this post

    • joer80 agrees : I have nothing further to say your honor...
    • brandall agrees : well said.
    I love SEO Chat.
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    I think google deepcrawls are good enough.. But I wish MSN had a service like this.
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    Get ready, I'm going to shoot a silver bullet in the "Google Sitemaps Should Be Feared" theory in one sentence.

    There is HUGE difference between having a page indexed, and having that page rank well."

    That's it.

    Well, I guess I can elaborate a little. Google's mission of course is to make the world's information available. They gather the information, then decide how important it is. Using the sitemap feature just brings them one step closer to accomplishing that mission. They will decide whether it's important enough to rank well.


    -Brian Renner

    Comments on this post

    • WeRASkitzzo agrees : exactly! Who cares if you rank for non-competitive kw's? The reason there is no competition is because there is no use to ranking well for those phrases. NO ONE SEARCHES FOR THEM!
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    "Doing Google's Work For Them"


    Let me give you a quick idea as to how ridiculous google sitemaps is.

    Lets say I have a site domain.com and I have only the first page indexed. With an online dictionary and a mod-rewrite script, I can create a site-map with literally millions of pages in a matter of minutes. The mod-rewrite just takes in the words off the url and scrapes using news feeds.

    I never have to interlink pages, never have to get people to link to my site, etc. and I can create unique phrases that will surely get me results as I am the only one with an optimized page for them.

    It is just too easy.

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    One author above mentioned penalizing google adwords for "buying your way to the top".

    First, Google does verify your links for Google Adwords - you can't just buy any keyword and have it point to any site. Second, Google has an impetous to overlook when people are giving them money, but not to overlook when the service is free.

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    Im sick of folks calling these things "tin-foil hat" conspiracy theories.

    On the contrary, as the example above illustrates, the lunacy, the idiocy, the stupidity would be for google to actually use user-submitted sitemaps to index the internet. Not only that, but to give users control over the frequency with which pages on their sites are indexed (announcing timeframes between spiders to keyword stuffers, what a brilliant concept), to let them list pages that might not be linked from anywhere - even their own site

    Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps Google is making a stupid a$$ mistake. Perhaps Google will be filled with humongous spammy sites like MSN a month from now.

    But I doubt it.

    When you collect data, you have to know what you are collecting and why or why not it is relevant and useful.

    Your google sitemap is of marginal use as a method of indexing the web. While Google may index a larger number of pages on your site, they risk indexing unlinked pages with false descriptions and false claims as to how often they are updated.
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    Silver Bullet


    But you will rank for non-competetive keywords - for unique phrases that show up in the millions of fake, unliked pages you just fed google sitemaps.

    An eight year old with a content generator and an hour to kill could solicit huge amounts of traffic and never touch a term that gets searched more than 30 times a month.
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  19. SEO Chat Good Citizen (1000 - 1499 posts)

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    Originally Posted by rjonesx
    Let me give you a quick idea as to how ridiculous google sitemaps is.

    Lets say I have a site domain.com and I have only the first page indexed. With an online dictionary and a mod-rewrite script, I can create a site-map with literally millions of pages in a matter of minutes. The mod-rewrite just takes in the words off the url and scrapes using news feeds.

    I never have to interlink pages, never have to get people to link to my site, etc. and I can create unique phrases that will surely get me results as I am the only one with an optimized page for them.

    It is just too easy.



    Im sick of folks calling these things "tin-foil hat" conspiracy theories.

    When you collect data, you have to know what you are collecting and why or why not it is relevant and useful.

    Your google sitemap is of marginal use as a method of indexing the web. While Google may index a larger number of pages on your site, they risk indexing unlinked pages with false descriptions and false claims as to how often they are updated.
    I think you are missing the basic concept of what the sitemap tool does (and perhaps even google for that matter). As entrepeneur mentioned the sitemap tool is just retrieving the data. Google's algo then decides what to do with it and how it should rank. If your site has no links to it, it will not rank for any even close to significant terms. If you rank your site for the term "why I fear google's site map tool" who the heck cares? No one will ever search for it. You gain no benefit from having your site rank high for a term no one searches for. This is beside the point though as G is only GATHERING info about the pages not letting you tell them where to rank you. The sitemap tool has nothing to do with their algo. The only reason sites that are "found" by G rank better than sites that are submitted is that G finds a site through links. Well if a site has links to it, it has a better chance at ranking.

    Comments on this post

    • mvandemar agrees : the tool is for finding pages, not ranking them.
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    Originally Posted by WeRASkitzzo
    I think you are missing the basic concept of what the sitemap tool does (and perhaps even google for that matter). As entrepeneur mentioned the sitemap tool is just retrieving the data. Google's algo then decides what to do with it and how it should rank. If your site has no links to it, it will not rank for any even close to significant terms. If you rank your site for the term "why I fear google's site map tool" who the heck cares? No one will ever search for it. You gain no benefit from having your site rank high for a term no one searches for. This is beside the point though as G is only GATHERING info about the pages not letting you tell them where to rank you. The sitemap tool has nothing to do with their algo. The only reason sites that are "found" by G rank better than sites that are submitted is that G finds a site through links. Well if a site has links to it, it has a better chance at ranking.
    Well said, what's the point of ranking for "I rank for this keyword phrase and nobody else does" when that 1. won't bring you any traffic, and 2. won't bring you any money.

    However, rjonesx, I do agree with your very first point about how Google prefers non-self reported-information and am sort of torn about how a page on a site can be off in the corner, found using the sitemap feature, then rank high for some reason because it's actually a pot of gold. I think if it's an important page, there should be at least a link from one's own sitemap on their website.

    Maybe someone can think of an example where the sitemap feature can rank a page that was once non-existent in Google's eyes.


    -Brian Renner
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    I thinkthe biggest reason for google doing the whole sitemap thing is because they know themselves that their own crawler does a ****ty job crawling most dynamic sites. This gives them a way to build a larger index quicker because we do the majority of the work for them. It saves them time and money i nthe long run, plus it cleans up their serps. Instead of hitting a vbulletin site and getting 20,000 pages of post reply or print thread, they get the content they are looking for. I posted my numbers and success with sitemaps and I stick by that. I don't think it can hurt anything at this point.
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    Well, I guess I can elaborate a little. Google's mission of course is to make the world's information available. They gather the information, then decide how important it is. Using the sitemap feature just brings them one step closer to accomplishing that mission. They will decide whether it's important enough to rank well.
    I agree.

    How can google make all the world's information available if they dont have it all? I think that all SE's will, or at least should, start to use sitemaps pretty soon.
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    Considering one our first focus' is JUST to get into Google when we started out, I would think using the sitemap along with the other resources would only be beneficial to a website, not harmful.

    Basically you are just telling Google "Hey here I am..."
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    Originally Posted by mhnlv
    Considering one our first focus' is JUST to get into Google when we started out, I would think using the sitemap along with the other resources would only be beneficial to a website, not harmful.

    Basically you are just telling Google "Hey here I am..."
    It's more like "Hey, here I am... and I brought a couple hundred of my friends with me! No, they're cool, trust me...What? You want to see references? Man, this club sucks, let's go somewhere else...wait, the other two clubs near here suck, they never have anyone cool in them. Screw it, alright, what do you want us to do?"

    -Brian Renner
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