Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Sitemaps and MyOutdoors.net

Recently after we put up MyOutdoors.net I started playing around with Google Sitemaps. The service basically allows you to create a sitemap of your site that can be downloaded by search engines for help in indexing the site. I recently posted to the google-sitemaps group about some of my experiences with it because I've seen some oddities. The strangest thing that I've seen is that sometimes the date that the Sitemaps site lists as having last indexed MyOutdoors.net has actually gone back in time, from the 14th of June to the 7th.

The response from someone in the community said that others have seen similar behavior. The strangest thing is that the Sitemap on the site states that pages are updated daily. Since the site is designed for journaling outdoor activities, this seems reasonable, but it doesn't seem to be happening. Another oddity was that there were HTTP errors (because we took down the forum) as recently as the 16th, and the sitemap was downloaded as recently as yesterday, the 19th.

All of this wouldn't be a big deal until we get some content up, but eventually I want to incorporate Google Co-op so that searches in Google can return results from MyOutdoors.net directly in your search results. This can only happen if Google is indexing the site often enough for things to be up-to-date.

Stay tuned, and maybe soon we'll have full text search and Google Co-op integration.

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