June 2, 2005
Today Google announced Google Sitemaps, a free online service designed for webmasters that enables them to automatically submit their web pages to Google. Google Sitemaps is a collaborative program between Google and webmasters. It is meant to provide Google with more information about web content so we can improve search results for users worldwide.
This announcement demonstrates Google’s ongoing efforts to create innovative web search technologies that make finding relevant information faster and easier. Before Google Sitemaps, webmasters could only publish their pages to the web and simply wait for Google to crawl their site for inclusion in the Google search index. Now, webmasters can inform Google about all their existing web pages, prioritize the pages they want crawled first, and tell us when pages are updated so that Google can index new content faster.
Google Sitemaps is intended for all webmasters, from those with a single web page to companies with millions of ever-changing pages. Here’s how it works: Webmasters can sign up for the program at www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps. They then generate and submit an XML formatted site list. This file can be created using the Sitemap Generator, a free open source tool that generates an XML sitemap for most websites.
Webmasters do not need a Google account to generate and submit sitemaps. However, if they do sign up they can log in to check the status of their sitemaps and view diagnostic information for their submissions.
This program does not replace, rather it enhances, the crawl technology Google currently uses to discover web content. Additionally, using Google Sitemaps neither guarantees that a site will be included in the index nor will it have any effect on how sites are ranked on Google Search results pages. The product is available in the US English and German language interfaces today and we hope to expand its availability to other languages in the near future.