SEO Weekend Update: XML Sitemaps

EDITOR’S NOTE: In our SEO Tutorial you can find current guidelines for creating XML sitemaps.

Hello. Do you have coffee? I’ll give you a cat for a cup of coffee. Coffee? No? Just some SEO news then? Fine.

What’s Your Blog Comment Policy?

Scott Allen had a really good post with Thoughts on Blog Comments, Moderation, and the Conversation where he talks about the part comments play in the overall conversation on blogs. There’s been some debate about blog comments lately, both internally and abroad, and what right the blog author has to moderate or even delete them.

Personally, I think it’s completely the blog author’s job to set the rules and make sure that everyone in the community sticks to them. Around here I’ve had to do quite a bit more moderating and editing than in the past. Some subjects have hit closer to home or excited a far more passionate response and sometimes people let they emotions get the better of them. When someone leaves a lengthy comment that is nothing more than a personal attack on someone else, it’s not going to be posted. If it can be edited and salvaged, it will be. But if all you’ve contributed is a 1,000 word essay on why you don’t like X and why X would be better off locked in a closet with no food or water, well, you’re not giving me much to work with. Take a nap and then come back.

Blog comments should enhance the quality of the conversation. They should offer alternative points, present debate, enter in some humor, etc. They should keep the integrity of the blog intact. If not, then the owner of that blog has the responsibility to moderate it and help bring the conversation back on topic. Or at least those are the rules we play by. What about you? Do you publish everything that users submit? How fearful are you to edit the thoughts of others?

Yes, XML Sitemaps Are Important To SEO

Barry Schwartz asks if Google Sitemaps are important to search engine optimization. We also talked about the issue back in February in our SEO Newsletter article entitled Building an XML Sitemap.

Barry points us to the Google Groups thread where Googler JohnMu explains that it’s generally worth the time to set up a complete XML Sitemap, listing the kinds of data that Google is most interested in.

Back in February, Bruce Clay Senior SEO Analyst Maryann Robbins discussed many of the same features and explained that building an XML Sitemap was absolutely essential for search engine optimization purposes. They not only give Google a complete list of the pages you want indexed, but they also give you the opportunity to provide supplemental information about those pages. They help with canonical issues, tell the search engines how often the page changes, when the page was last modified, how important the page is to your Web site, etc.

So if you’re asking whether or not XML Sitemaps are important for search engine optimization, the answer is “absolutely” and “yes”.

Microsoft’s Plans For Search

Now that Yahoo is no longer an option, General Manager of Microsoft’s Search Business Group Brad Goldberg sat down with Robert Scoble to talk about what they’re looking to do next. Topics discussed in the interview include Microsoft’s plans for mobile, how they plan to compete with Google, the quality of the Live engine, and whether a Mahalo-type strategy could help them gain market share.

If you have half an hour or so, it’s worth a listen.

Fun Finds

The Times of London reports that the average teenager’s iPod has 800 illegal music tracks. Hee, ouch. Those damn kids are nothing more than a horde of pirates!

Everyone’s favorite job search engine has just launched job analytics for employers. Now if only we could get them to launch a coffee delivery program for employees.

Lisa Barone is a writer, content marketer & VP of strategy at Overit Media. She's also a very active Twitterer, much to the dismay of the rest of the world.

See Lisa's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (1)
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One Reply to “SEO Weekend Update: XML Sitemaps”

Interesting point about comment editing. Something that I’m sure a lot struggle with no matter what mind rules they work with.
Though fact of the matter is we write posts that at times are designed to stir emotions to get response, then debate whether to post the mutually emotional responses.
Like a lot of the work we do it brings in paradox. The work has stirred emotions and then the decision comes, do we ignore those, edit down, remove?
You get what you ask for. If I have intentionally poked a sleeping dog with a stick, well you get my point, right?


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