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Bing Officially Releases Bing XML Sitemap Plugin 1.0

bing-logo After releasing a preview of the Bing sitemap plugin a few months ago, Bing is ready to officially launch the Bing XML Sitemap Plugin 1.0 to the public. This sitemap plugin allows webmasters to easily create XML sitemap files for their websites that can be submitted to Bing Webmaster Tools or other search engines. It works on both Internet Information Services (IIS) for Windows Server and Apache HTTP Server. What has changed between the beta version released a few months ago and the release today? Automatically ping the search engines after each Sitemap update (currently ping Bing an [...]


The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Internal Linking Strategy

It’s not the first thing you think of when you hear "link building." It’s definitely not the sexiest aspect of link building. But, I'd argue it’s among the most important components of a solid link building strategy. That’s right, folks: today we’re going to chat about internal linking. Cue the communal groan. It's okay! I'm not going to talk about anchor text. Instead, we'll dive into how to set up a logical internal linking strategy, as well as some of the more technical aspects to keep in mind when it comes to your internal linking. Why An Internal Linking Strategy Impor [...]


Using the X-Default Hreflang Tag For Multinational SEO: Default Language Opportunities

Common Second Languages Globally

Google & Yandex announced the new x-default hreflang tag earlier this month, and in doing so closed the final gap in executing ‘perfect’ SEO platforms for multinational brands. There is, however, the question of what language content to use as your default, and how you can bring a little quantifiable information to play to determine your best, overall, choice.


Google Recommending New Video Schema.org Markup

Google announced on the Google Webmaster Central blog that they are now adding video support for schema.org. They are doing this in combination with Microsoft Bing and Yahoo Search as a "joint effort." Google says using the schema.org video markup is the "recommended way to describe videos on the web." Google added that they still recommend you continue with your other video XML formats, such as Video Sitemaps and mRSS feeds, if you use them. The new schema.org video markup won't impact the Video Sitemaps and mRSS feeds. The technical details on video markup can be found on schema.org an [...]


Now Test Your Sitemaps Before Submitting Them To Google

Google has quietly added a feature to Google Webmaster Tools that allows you to test your sitemap files prior to submitting them to Google. Google's Pierre Far confirmed that this is indeed a brand new feature built to help webmasters debug their sitemap files prior to submitting them. One of the most common complaints about Google Sitemap files is that Webmaster would create them but not be able to know right away if they were valid. Now, Webmasters can create the sitemaps and test them in Google Webmaster Tools prior to submitting them to Google. To test the sitemap files, simply log [...]


Video Sitemaps Errors Now In Google Webmaster Tools Labs

Google has added a new report to the Google Webmaster Tools Labs section. The new report is named "Video Sitemaps" and it should include errors specific to Video Sitemaps files. Google's Matt Cutts has said at SMX Advanced not once and but twice that video sitemaps is one, of many, areas Google's search quality team will focus more on over the course of the year. So seeing a new report in labs for video sitemaps is not too surprising. What does surprise me is that the report doesn't seem to currently add any new information that the Sitemaps section under "Site configuration" in Web [...]


Google XML Sitemaps Now Supports Multiple Types: Is the Sitemaps Alliance Over?

Since Google launched XML Sitemaps back in 2005, they've added specialized formats to enable site  owners to submit content other than web pages. Until now, site owners have had to create separate Sitemaps for each content type: Mobile News Video Geo Images Code Search That's now changed. You can now create a single XML Sitemap that contains any combination of these content types. The Google Webmaster Central blog post doesn't mention News Sitemaps, so presumably news content can't be mixed with the other types. Great news for site owners? Possibly. It may be easier to cre [...]


Local Newspapers Need To Embrace SEO To Survive

It’s no secret that newspapers have been struggling with the disruptive innovations introduced by Google, and this has resulted in some level of resistance and a circling-of-the-wagons mentality by the industry. But, what if they were to go in the opposite direction, with full engagement? Search engine optimization could really help newspapers, and here’s one tactic for how to do it.


Canonical Tag 2.0: Google To Add Cross Domain Support

Many site owners have wanted the recently introduced canonical tag to work across domains. Now their wishes will come true. Google announced cross-domain support will come by the end of the year. The news came out during the Duplicate Content: The Search Engines Edition session at SMX East conference today. Google made the announcement in response to site owners again voicing that they wanted such a solution. The existing canonical tag is only supported by Google, at the moment. Yahoo and Bing both said they're studying support but think its likely they'll add support by the end of the y [...]


How To Optimize Feeds To Maximize Your Exposure In Shopping Engine Results

Each day millions of online shoppers turn to comparison shopping engines (CSEs) to compare prices, read reviews, research products and make buying decisions. While comparison shopping engines don’t sell or ship the products featured on their sites, they advertise products from merchants to a diverse online audience. Merchants are using CSEs in a down economy to capture shoppers looking for deals. To take advantage of this growing advertising space and get more exposure than your competitors, you need a product data feed—and even more importantly, you must optimize the feed to gain maximum [...]


Google Study On Sitemaps

The Google Webmaster Central blog notified us that Googlers have presented a new study on Sitemaps at the WWW'09 conference in Madrid. The study is absolutely interesting and I recommend printing out the ten page PDF document and reading it. For those of you who don't have time for that, I hope to highlight the most interesting findings from the study below. The purpose of the study was to measure the past few years of Sitemaps usage at Google to determine how Sitemap files improve coverage and freshness of the Google web index. By coverage, I mean how Google crawls the web deeper and fi [...]


Google’s Advice On Using The New Canonical Tag

A month ago, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft announced they will be supporting a new canonical tag that allows you to tell search engines that page X is a duplicate page to page Z. In a way, it is a 301 redirect, without the physical redirect. The tag is incredibly powerful, as are 301 redirects and using this tag should be done with caution and slowly. Matt Cutts posted a new video explaining how one should go about using this tag, being that it is so new. Here is the video: [...]


Google Creates Smart Sitemap Generator Tool

The Google Webmaster Central blog announced that they have just released a new Sitemap generator that works on both Linux/Apache and Microsoft IIS Windows-based servers. The Sitemap generator is different and possibly smarter than other Sitemap tools because it uses web traffic, log files and other methods to find new or modified URLs. You can download the new tool over here. Why go through the process of setting up a Sitemap file? Well, Google themselves said on the Sitemap Generator page, "you are more likely to get better freshness and coverage in search engines" if you submit a Sitem [...]


Report: Sitemaps Decrease Crawler Response Time

An SEOMoz post has documented statistics on how submitting a Sitemap to Google and Yahoo impacts the rate of crawling that web site. The results show that submitting a Sitemap to Google and Yahoo decreased the time it took Google and Yahoo to crawl the page. It is important to note that the test was done "on 12 different posts, 6 with Sitemaps being submitted, and 6 with the Sitemaps not being submitted." The results were that when a "Sitemap was submitted, the average time it took for the bot to visit the new post was 14 minutes for Google and 245 minutes for Yahoo." In contrast, when " [...]


Sitemaps.org Update: You Can Now Store Your XML Sitemap Files Anywhere!

The major search engines have announced an update to the sitemaps.org protocol which enables site owners to store their XML Sitemap files in any location -- even on a different domain than the one referenced in the Sitemap. This will be a welcome change for those who manage multiple domains and would like to keep all Sitemap files in one place, as well as for those who would like to store their Sitemap in a location other than the root. The only caveat? You have to be able to edit the robots.txt file of the domain the Sitemap file references. The search engines made the announcement today on [...]


Google Writes Google Sitemaps FAQs

The Google Webmaster Central Blog has posted a Sitemaps FAQs blog post. In this blog post, Google responds to some of the most asked questions on the Sitemaps protocol and how Google supports it. Some of the questions include: Does a Sitemap submission guarantee page inclusion? Can submitting a Sitemap hurt my site? Will my rankings improve if I submit a Sitemap? Check out the full FAQs over here. [...]


Consolidating Sitemap Files With Google

Mickey Kataria has posted on the Google Webmaster Central blog that if you can verify ownership of multiple sites, you can consolidate the Sitemap files for those sites and either combine the URLs from those sites into one Sitemap or create separate files for each site, but store the files in one location. Previously, any Sitemap you submitted could contain only URLs from the site on which the Sitemap was hosted. One instance in which this new functionality may be useful is sites with subdomains. It may be easier to write one file that contains URLs from all subdomains on a site. In this case [...]


Live Search Now Supporting Sitemaps Autodiscovery Via Robots.txt File

This morning I reported at the Search Engine Roundtable that Microsoft Live Search is finally now supporting sitemaps via autodiscovery. Microsoft will only use your sitemaps file if it is listed in your robots.txt file. You cannot currently ping Microsoft or upload your sitemaps file to Microsoft. Microsoft, along with Ask.com, Google and Yahoo, united to support autodiscovery of sitemaps in April. Google, Yahoo and Ask.com quickly supported it on that day or soon after. Microsoft finally began supporting the reading of these sitemaps files as of yesterday. How do you specify the locati [...]


Ask.com Adds Sitemaps Autodiscovery Support

It appears that Ask.com is now implementing support for the Sitemaps protocol that they got behind back in April. One of our readers commented here notifying us that Ask.com added a pinging service for autodiscovery. Checking further, I found the details on how to ping Ask.com is its Webmaster Help documents. In addition, try this link you can see how an example pinging attempt looks. How does it work? From Ask's help files: Once you have prepared the sitemap, add the sitemap auto-discovery directive to robots.txt as follows: SITEMAP: http://www.the URL of your sitemap here.xml The sit [...]


Google Helps States Surface Government Information

Google has announced an initiative with state agencies in Arizona, California, Utah and Virginia to help expose government information to web search engines. Often, government information is stored in database systems that are difficult if not impossible for search engine crawlers to access and index. Google is working with technologists from the state agencies to help surface this invisible or deep web content, using a simple yet elegant approach using the sitemaps protocol, thereby allowing Google or any other search engine to discover and index government information. Search engine crawl [...]


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