Google Sitemaps

sitemapI am pleased to announce another great new feature for the v.4.0 gallery sites: Google Sitemaps! You can find this in the admin control panel under Settings > Sitemap. In this post I will first explain a little about what a sitemap is, and then I’ll explain how to use the new feature.

A sitemap is basically an XML-formatted file that lists all of the pages on your website. Google and other search engines have spiders, which are automated programs that periodically crawl through your website to evaluate and index the various pages for their search engines. The spiders can only index pages that they can find through links on your site (or from other sites). This is where the sitemap comes in handy, because it makes it easy for the spiders to see ALL your pages, even if some of them are buried deep in your site or not linked at all.

A sitemap won’t improve your pages’ rankings in the search engines, but they can help to increase the number of your pages that are indexed in the search engines. Another potential benefit is that the sitemap will list all your photos, along with the corresponding title, location, and caption information. This could be beneficial for image search results because it’s telling the spiders the specific information about each image – something that spiders have a hard time doing themselves since they cannot “see” the photos like we humans do.

Here’s how to start using this feature. The sitemap feature is set up to function manually; in other words, you have to select to generate the sitemap for the first time, and each successive time. You can do this in the admin control panel by going to Settings > Sitemap. Continue reading