Google Sitemaps Should Never Hurt Your Domain

May 30, 2006 • 12:52 pm | comments (0) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Alright, this post is a little bit different in that it explores Google Sitemaps and the urban legend that is can and will ruin your website if you let it. There is a thread on WMW, which quotes the latest Matt Cutts evangelistic utterance in that:

I’ve talked to the sitemaps folks a lot. Having a sitemap for your site should *never* hurt your domain.
One of the forum members then disagrees and says he has heard of examples of it making all there pages disappear where "I started using Google sitemaps and my house exploded the very next day". Now the incentive for a webmaster to use Google Sitemaps is high and the risk you would think is not that high. It remains that their is a higher chance of getting included in Google if you use it, then if you don't. Based on new indexing and spidering tactics Google is using. Some of the members chime in with their experience in loosing pages in the index due to sitemaps. The evidence is not very strong since proof seems limited. Most claim they started using sitemaps for a section of their site and within a couple weeks the pages were gone from the index. Was it Big Daddy? or Sitemaps? However their are some good points I agree with, such as:
My take is that joining sitemaps is a very poor substitute for making a site search engine friendly in the first place.

Thats a great take on the subject, Sitemaps really is only a limited use option, don't expect it to work miracles. Finally, someone comments that:

From what I read I believe a lot of you created/uploaded your Google sitemaps several weeks ago and then noticed that your pages started disappearing from the Google index. If you read other threads this was also happening widely to people WITHOUT a Google Sitemap ... with me being one of them.
Granted this is just his opinion.

If you are one of the people who have lost pages from Google Sitemaps. Then you should take a look at this post over at Google Blogoscoped. According to them, the reinclusion request in Google Sitemaps: order to submit a reinclusion request, one has to acknowledge violating Google’s quality guidelines, even if they do not believe they did so. So basically – under this system if a site has been dropped from the index, the owner is forced to admit wrong doing (even if they didn’t) and at the same time clear Google of any wrong doing (even if they did).
Okay, to most this isn't probably a big deal, since they just want to get their site and pages back in the index and really don't care who was right or wrong. Even though, its a whole lot easier to blame Google. Bad Google.

More discussion at WebmasterWorld Forums

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