Even if you are not an expert in SEO and stuff like that, there are things that you can do easily, even with your free wordpress.com blog. I am not an SEO geek either. I only have basic knowledge of these things, but still certain things are possible because it’s very easy.
This blog post will help you find the XML sitemap of your wordpress.com blog, and add it to Google using Webmasters Tools, a free service offered by Google. This is going to take 15 minutes of your time.
What is a Sitemap, and How useful is it ?
“A site map (or sitemap) is a representation of the architecture of a web site” , says Wikipedia. It helps Search Engines ( and even normal users ) scan your website real fast, and know your content in detail.Â ( keeping it short and simple. If you need more info, simply do a google search )
It helps search engines find your content faster. That translates in to more keywords indexed, and more hits from search engines.
WordPress.com Offers Three types of Sitemaps.
Yes, and that’s really cool considering the fact that wordpress.com blog isÂ free. The first sitemap, is a page that you can create, with some simple steps. We will skip that one for now. If you want to check it out, go here.
Second sitemap is the most important one. The XML sitemap of your wordpress.com blog. This new feature was announced in June, 2008.
Example URL :Â http://chiragchamoli.wordpress.com/sitemap.xml
Next, News Sitemaps
News Sitemaps are similar to normal XML sitemaps, but this one is specially built for Google News.
Example URL : http://chiragchamoli.wordpress.com/news-sitemap.xml
I know you are curious to know how your blog’s sitemap looks like. Okay, take a break and check it out. I have used Chirag’s blog as example here. You can replace the username and add yours, and you will get your sitemap.
Okay, now, what isÂ Google Webmaster Tools ?
It’s better if you ask this question to Google, and they will answer something like this. (Â Jump here to get all the info about Webmaster Tools. )
Webmaster Tools helps you see how your site is performing in our search results, troubleshoot potential problems, and build Google-friendly sites. Webmaster Tools is for anybody with a website – bloggers, online stores big and small, government and education sites. If you’re online, we can help.
To access webmasters tools, click here. All you need to have is a google account, which I am sure you all have, or something that you can’t live without.
Let us Put everything Together now.
WordPress helps you create sitemap for your blog. Google Webmaster Tools will help you add the sitemap to Google and check it’s status, and performance etc. And sitemaps will tell Google about your content, and will build a friendly relationship between your blog and Google’s search bots. Simple ?
Verify Your Blog with Webmasters Tools
First, let us add your blog to Google Webmaster Tools. WordPress.com has made my job easy here. They have a very good tutorial explaining how to do this. Don’t worry, it’s very simple.
Adding Your Sitemap
Vow !! We are almost there.
On your Webmaster Tools dashboard, click on “Sitemaps”. You will see your blog listed there. Now, you will see http://chiragchamoli.wordpress.com/ and then a space to enter your sitemap’s name. Here, simply type “sitemap.xml” without quotes. Repeat it with news-sitemap.xml and you will have your second sitemap added.
What to do Next.
It will take some time for google to download your sitemap, and then even more time to index it. So, next time when you login to Google Webmasters Tools, check the status of your sitemap. It should say “Ok”.Â And If you click on “Details” next to it, you will get the stats ; ie number of URLs submitted, and number of URLs indexed.
You may also want to keep a note of your search engine stats before adding the sitemap, so that we can monitor it for any change, ( improvement that is !! )Â Be sure to drop me a comment if this brings more visits to your blog.
If you found this article useful, do not forget to share it with your friendsÂ !! Good Luck Guys !!