Google Sitemaps (BETA)
What is Google Sitemaps?
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:
Generate a Sitemap in the correct format using Sitemap Generator.
Update your Sitemap when you make changes to your site.
Who can use Google Sitemaps?
Google Sitemaps is intended for all web site owners, from those with a single web page to companies with millions of ever-changing pages. If any of the following are true, then you may be especially interested in Google Sitemaps:
You want Google to crawl more of your web pages.
You want to be able to tell Google when content on your site changes.
How much does it cost?
Absolutely nothing. Google has never charged for placement in our search results, and we don't have any plans to do so.
Why is Google doing this?
In alignment with Google's mission to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible, this collaborative crawling system will allow our crawlers to optimize the usefulness of Google's index for users by improving its coverage and freshness.
I am really excited about this development!!! There is a lot of information available on the website so I won't repeat it all. Basically you have a choice of either using a Python script to create an XML sitemap for your website (which will reside on your own web server to be accessed by Google) OR you can submit a text file of links to achieve roughly the same thing.
I am currently experimenting with just the text file option. I just submitted the file and am now waiting to see if Google will come to my site to read the sitemap file and list all my pages!
I will let you all know if it works!