You have created your blog and have started to add great content, but for some reason Google still doesn’t seem to know it exists. That’s because while your content might be user friendly, its not search engine friendly. Google, as well as other search engines are constantly crawling the web to update their indexes for new sites and updates to already indexed sites. With the billions of content loaded and changed daily, these search engines can potentially miss or not find your content in a timely manner. Why not help Google and other search engines by alerting them to your site and providing an easy way for them to know the contents of your site. That is why it is important to create a sitemap and submit it to search engines. Here is how to index a wordpress blog.
Create a sitemap of your wordpress blog:
Before you create a sitemap, it is good to have a basic understanding of a sitemap. A sitemap is a list of web pages that are accessable to search engine crawlers. In this case, it will be a webpage that lists the pages of your website in a heirarchial order. This specific sitemap we are creating is called an XML sitemap, which is not seen by users of your site, but is seen and used by search engine crawlers to tell them about the pages on your site, their relative importance to each other (i.e. the home page is higher in order than the about us page) and how often your pages are updated. Since Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask all use the same protocols, having an XML sitemap lets the four biggest search engines have updated information your site.
Before you worry about having to code, the great news is that there are two easy ways to create XML sitemaps for your wordpress blog. The first is to install the WordPress SEO by Yoast, which is covered in more detail in SEO for wordpress blogs. If you are using a different SEO plugin or don’t want to use WordPress SEO by Yoast, you can also install the Google XML Sitemaps. Either plugin will create an adequate XML sitemap for your wordpress blog.
Once you have installed either plugin, your sitemap will be created automatically (yeah, it’s that easy). Further, both plugins will also automatically update the major search engines every time you publish new content and update the XML sitemap accordingly, so you don’t have to worry about future additions and changes to your content. If you used the WordPress SEO by Yoast, you can find your sitemap here: yourdomain.com/sitemap_index.xml. If you use Google XMP Sitemaps, you can find your sitemap here: yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml.
Here is an XML sitemap example:
Submit your XML sitemap
This step is optional, but highly recommended. Even though both plugins will submit your site to the major search engines, we recommend setting up an account and submitting your site to Google Webmaster Tools. Once you add your website, click “Optimization” and then “Sitemaps” to submit your sitemap. The main reason you want to submit your sitemap is to allow greater insights when using Google Analytics, which every wordpress blog should be using. Submitting your sitemap will enable Search Engine Optimization analytics that are available through Google Analytics.
These are the basic steps to index a wordpress blog. If you want some more tricks, check out the following article: http://blog.kissmetrics.com/get-google-to-index/
This amazing article was contributed by Brett Lacher.