Why You Need to Dump that Google Sitemap: Today!

Have you ever had a friend that’s in a bad relationship? You know the skank he’s with is just bringing him down. You know he can do much better. In the beginning, there were all these great hopes about how the relationship was “gonna be”. Now, all you hear is him complaining about how things are just not working out: the broken promises, the failed plans, the betrayals.

We’ve all had friends like that at one point or another. If you’re good friends, you’ll have an intervention and tell your friend how things really are and what he needs to do. You will sit him down and tell him straight up: “Dude, you can do much better than this. It’s time for you to Dump that Bitch.”

Well today that friend is you. The skank you are with is the Google Sitemap. In the beginning, it was all lovey dovey. There was all this hope about the Google Sitemap helping you to get indexed. At first, it even seemed like it was going to work out. But by now you should realize that it was all a lie: that she does nothing but breaks her promises to you. I understand that you’re emotionally involved at this point, but take a step back and take a serious look at the situation. Is this relationship really working out the way you wanted it to?

No. And that’s why it’s time for you to dump that Google Sitemap. You’ve become overly dependant on her and she has turned into a negative rather than a positive in your life.

Just look at her own words. She’s doing more than giving you signals when you hear this every day:

“Make pages for users, not for search engines.”

(Google Quality guidelines – basic principles #1)

If that’s true, why is Google Sitemap asking you to make a page just for her? When was the last time your users ever wanted to look at an XML Formatted Sitemap?

Never!

The Google Sitemap is like Google’s deranged multiple personality. You can’t have a healthy relationship with someone who’s schizo. Google is who you really care about, not that Google Sitemap.

So, instead of wasting time with a Google Sitemap, make one for your users. This way everyone will be happy: you, the REAL Google, and your users.

If you’re using wordpress, you should dump those standard monthly archives while your at it. When’s the last time you were on another blog and thought “What I really want to look at is February 2005 archives – I sure hope this site has THAT page.”?

It’s Crap! What a user might want is a listing of all your posts: either from most recent to first, or sorted by most commented.

If you check out my sitemap above (top nav yellow), you can easily read every post I’ve ever written. The Visited hyperlink is a different color than the non visited. So, if you want to go from post to post just scanning the headlines that interest you, it’s easy to do so. Plus, with this setup, the click distance from any post to any other post is at most 2.

Google Sitemap doesn’t do any of that for you or your users. She just weighs you down and lulls you into a false sense of security. Dump her today!

You too can get a great chick like I have. Here’s how in wordpress: Just make an archives.php template that includes this function:

<?php wp_get_archives('type=postbypost&show_post_count=true'); ?>

The added advantage is that you can go to that sitemap page and do a quick ctr+F to find any headline you have written . . . and so can your users! If users can more easily find your posts, they are more likely to link to them. More links = Higher Rankings in all the Search Engines. When you take on this approach in the Relationship, you’ll see the real Google crawling back to your door and begging for more.

I say you shove Google’s words in the face of her schizo Personality. Stand up for yourself and Say “Sorry, we don’t make pages for search engines, we make them for our users!”

I already have and I’m happier because of it.

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24 Responses to “Why You Need to Dump that Google Sitemap: Today!”

  1. ppzhao says:

    Dude, great idea, a site map for a blog of every post written!

  2. loslibos says:

    I’ve heard of people having issues with sitemaps sometimes because their site has something on it that google discovers and doesn’t like, maybe. I just wanted to say that if you were removed from google’s index due to spam like one of our sites then, after getting rid of the spam like co-op, re-submitting a sitemap has gotten us indexed again, rankings back and pagerank coming back with the recent toolbar export. If there is no spam penalty on a site, I don’t risk using sitemaps.

  3. Muskie says:

    I swear some of this posting resembles a comment I made on a previous post…

    I made a site map by hand for my static content. It took a lot of work and I don’t know if it was ever perfect. I put it at the same directory depth as my index.html page. The only things at that level are index.html, siteMap.html and my .css file. I like directories to organize my information.

    For my blog I am using some plugin that makes a Google SiteMap. The reason I went this way besides laziness and just wanting to try it out… I don’t know why I do anything anymore. It may help get my blog indexed quicker I don’t know.

    I still think these huge sitemaps and lists of postings is more for the search engine than real people. I know I get referrals to my hand made .html site map and also my big page of links which I’ve maintained for over ten years gets some odd keyword referrals too.

    My whole site gets odd keyword referrals.

  4. [...] ? Oct 3, 2006 3:08 pm under General, Search Engine Optimization Firm, SEO Web Design, you can trackback from your ownsite [...]

  5. RandomGuy says:

    Just a heads-up… That code you put in there doesn’t work because the single quotes were reformatted by wordpress.

  6. QuadsZilla says:

    Thanks, randomguy. Fixed (I hope).

  7. [...] Why You Need to Dump that Google Sitemap: Today! [...]

  8. derekhail says:

    Quads… Something you may be interested in and I’m not sure if you’re aware of it. Have you ever seen Dagon Design’s sitemap generator? It can be found here –
    http://www.dagondesign.com/articles/sitemap-generator-plugin-for-wordpress/

    It automatically creates a “true” sitemap and is listed by category.

  9. JeremyL says:

    It’s funny. I keep reading this black hat blog, getting some of the best white hat info on the net :)

  10. derekhail says:

    The last comment didnt come up unfortunately, I think my connection might have flicked off. Anyway… Quads have you seen Dagon Design’s sitemap generator? Can be found at dagondesign.com . Basically, it creates what you say to do in a plugin.

  11. pip says:

    hey quads, your sitemap is a fairly simple and nice solution. i prefer another one for 2 reasons.

    I use UTW to tag all my articles. the click-proximity is at 2.x, too and all articles are interlinked on some contextual base. 3rd reason: tag pages can rank quite good and become small hubs for their topic.

    i think that’s even better, than your quite easy sitemap. don’t you agree?

  12. QuadsZilla says:

    Well, I’ve installed jeromes keywords for tagging. I’m in the process of going back and tagging all the old posts.

    The thing I really like about this setup is that I like to reference old posts frequently. It’s soooo much eaiser to go to my sitemap and do a ctr+F to find the post than anything else I’ve done before that I wouldn’t want to do without it.

  13. [...] Why You Need to Dump that Google Sitemap: Today! I got sick of mine since it always said I had errors, so I dumped it. Now if I could just get me a Brazilian hottie. (tags: google seo wordpress) [...]

  14. goatix says:

    @ QuadsZilla

    For tagging and organizing articles is the Wordpress Plugin “Jeromes Keyword Manager” my first choice – it works together with Jerome´s Keywords.

    Hope the plugin will help saving some time ;-)

  15. joebanner says:

    I took derekhail’s advice and tried the Dagon Design’s sitemap generator and it kicks major ass. It is full featured and can be configured many, many different ways. Excellent recommendation.

  16. [...] As always credit where credit is due. I learned about this technique from Quadzilla at SEO Blackhat through his post Why You Need to Dump that Google Sitemap: Today!. The technique itself is built into the WordPress application through one of the many template_tags you can use. In this case the wp_get_archives tag. There’s also a get_archives tag that offers similar functionality and differs only in the way parameters are passed to the function. [...]

  17. dfischer says:

    How do I link to my archives.php file? If I just create a “page” with the “archives template name” I get a page but it’s content isn’t there. I just see ?> at the end.

  18. dfischer says:

    The thing is, I am doing that. But I get a blank page with a ?> in the content area.

  19. rose.water says:

    This is purely for the purpose of google’s benefit, saving bandwidth, fresher content etc… it’s not at all for people.

  20. rose.water says:

    It’s also probably good for checking bad links and missing images.

  21. [...] Really Simple Sitemap is my first go at creating a plugin for Wordpress. It was inspired by these 2 useful posts by SEO Blackhat and WageRank. [...]

  22. xentek says:

    So you completely missed the point of the xml sitemaps, which are fast becoming an inter operable standard between search giants.

    Its so you can follow the activity of the crawling, throttle it when necessary, and provide you with the last time something got crawled. An HTML sitemap is SEO 101, and was never intended to be replaced by the xml standard.

    And an xml sitemap should not be taking you any time. Google’s command line tools work great and can be run on a schedule if you have all static pages. Any content stored in the DB can be looped out to an xml file in about 15 minutes of coding (in the case your CMS doens’t already have a plugin for it).

    Basically all this “hope” you speak of in your article is just a bunch of people who didn’t read the docs and passed around opinions and misconceptions as facts. And here you go doing it some more.

    But should I expect more from “SEO Skript Kiddie dot com”? Probably not.