Jewellery Blog, Gemstone Information

February 23, 2009

Sitemap really helps

Filed under: Men's Jewellery — pangsheng @ 12:18 pm

After working with Sitemap for a couple of months, I find out that Sitemap is really helpful in terms of SEO. It’s extremely helpful for a dynamic website.

In my previous post, I mentioned that by submitting a Sitemap, the number of pages indexed by Google increased instantly, and it was quite a significant rise. Recently, I discovered that Sitemap not only helps to increase number of the search engine index page, but also improve the accuracy of index.

There are a lot of duplicate contents and redirect URLs on my website, because it was developed using PHP. To be honest, I don’t know too much about PHP, but I do know that duplicate contents and redirect URLs are definitely not SEO friendly. For example, in the Google Webmaster Tools, I can see that around 2,116 URLs from Gemondo are not followed by Google because of redirect.

urls-not-followed1

Most of those pages are on site search bar generated URLs.

On Gemondo product category page, there is a search bar on the top of product list. This search bar enables users to search jewellery according to different material, brand etc.

search-bar

These generated URLs look similar like: http://www.gemondo.com/index.php?page=cat_view&path=10-162

Apparently, Google doesn’t like these URLs very much, because they are the source of the redirect URLs. For example,

http://www.gemondo.com/index.php?page=cat_view&path=10-162-161-163

the above URL looks like a category URL, but actually when you click on it, you get redirected to a product page.

The actually destination of this URL is  http://www.gemondo.com/index.php?page=item_view&item_id=6471

Although Google managed to recognize some of these redirect URLs, there were still a lot of them be indexed. Before I submit the Sitemap, most of product URLs indexed by Google were those redirect ones.

redirect-urls-in-serp1

To solve this problem, re-design the website URL structure might be an ultimate solution, but not when our website developer is struggling with some minor change of the website.  To solve the problem by myself, I created a Sitemap with all the main URLs which I want Google to index. The Sitemap includes all the manually created landing pages and main category pages, as well as all the product pages. I also specified the priority of the homepage as “1”, the landing pages and category pages as “0.9” and the product pages as “0.5”. All the generated URLs are excluded in the Sitemap.

Fortunately, 10 hours after I submit the sitemap, Google crawled my website. 3 days after the submission, all the major landing pages and category pages were indexed, and almost all the product pages’ URLs have change from

http://www.gemondo.com/index.php?page=cat_view&path=??? to

http://www.gemondo.com/index.php?page=item_view&item_id=???

This is exactly how I want Google to index my website. I’m very glad that Google can “listen” to us webmaster. And I’m very happy to tell everyone that Sitemap really helps. If you want to optimise your website, submiting Sitemap to search engines is one of the few things you can start with.

Advertisements

December 23, 2008

Does Google Sitemap help?

Filed under: Men's Jewellery — pangsheng @ 3:29 pm

Does Google Sitemap help? Before I created and submit  Google Sitemaps for my websites, I asked the same question to myself. And I also did a research on the Internet. The answer was mostly positive. However, none of the information I found on the web didn’t give any hard evidence about the benefit of having a Sitemap.

I had some resistance from our web developer, as they think a website which has already been indexed by Google doesn’t need to submit Sitemap. They insisted that submitting Sitemap of a already indexed website will have nagetive impact on the website’s index. The URLs which are not in the Sitemap won’t be indexed at all. However, considering the number of pages we have on our webiste and been indexed by Google, I firmly believed that submiting Sitemap can bring some benefit to our websites’ index.

Our company has five different webistes. Gemondo is the biggest one which has more than 5,000 jewellery items listed on it. marcasites.co.uk, celticandcladdagh.co.uk, stijlstyle.com and 24karatpuredevotion.com are much smaller websites in terms of item number and page number. I used a free Sitemap generator GSiteCrawler to create Sitemap for my websites. This is particular good for generating Sitemap for big webiste with tens of thousand of pages.

I keeping on tracking the number of pages indexed through Webmaster Tools after I submit the Sitemap to Google. I can see a significant increase in the number of pages indexed one month after I submit the Sitemap.

www.stijlstyle.com indexed page number

http://www.stijlstyle.com indexed page number

celticandcladdagh.co.uk indexed page number

celticandcladdagh.co.uk indexed page number

marcasites.co.uk indexed page number

marcasites.co.uk indexed page number

From the above statistics we can see that indexed page number increased sharply after submission. Although there’s downward trend after the sharp growth, overall the indexed page number is still a lot more than before.

Therefore, I can draw the conclusion that submitting Sitemap can definitely increase the indexed page number on Google. Some say that this is extremely good for new websites.

I didn’t include the result for Gemondo.com, since I’m still having problem with submitting the Sitemap to Webmaster tools. I will post the result on my blog when it become successful.

Google.co.uk or Google.com

Filed under: Men's Jewellery — pangsheng @ 11:52 am

What’s the worst thing a SEOer can encounter? A significant decrease of the keywords ranking on major search engines over night. Luckily enough, I’ve been through this major drop this morning, although at last it turned to be a false alarm.

I was looking through the statistics of our company’s website Gemondo.com on Google Webmaster Tools this morning. I clicked on some of  our web site’s keywords on the Google top quires page to monitor their performance on SERPs. However, the result turned out to be a tremendous shock to me. For some of the chosen keywords of our company, I cannot find our website on the first page, and not even on the second and third page. Most of the keywords rankings have dropped at least two pages.

I was absolutely astonished by the result. It’s two days before the Christmas Day. We have been adding content to our website, the traffic is quite significant and the Alexa ranking is increasing for the recent months. There’s no sign of PR fall, neither is backward link number. Everything seems all right.

After a thorough diagnosis, the only thing I can find is that the number of pages been indexed by Google dropped around 40%. There are some 3,600 URLs aren’t followed due to the redirect errors. These pages aren’t indexed by Google, hence reduced the number of internal links.

I really cannot believe that Google can take all my hard work away over night. If the search result can be so much unpredictable and dynamic, what’s the sense of have the SEO industry then.

My thought at that time was to double check on Google before turning to the big guys on the web for help. Next thing I did is to go to Google.com like billions of  other webusers do everyday, and type in my keywords to check teh SERP. Oops, our website is still showing on the first pages. What the hell! Do they change the search result every minute?

I was confused, totall confused. I turned to my colleague Andrew.  He came over to my PC as I explained what did I encounter. “One is Google.com the other one is Google.co.uk”, he said so after a quick glance on my monitor.

What a fool I was. Of course the search result various in Google.com and Google.co.uk. Everytime when I type Google.com, it gets redirected to Google.co.uk. Whereas on Webmaster Tools’s top enquiries page, each keyword links to Google.com.

Google SERP

Google SERP

Blog at WordPress.com.