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E-Marketing Performance Blog

XML Sitemaps: To Submit or Not to Submit?

Submit XML sitemaps

Submitting an xml sitemap to Google via Webmaster tools can be a great way to get Google to spider all your pages quickly. But before you go and hit that submit button, make sure that’s what you really want to do.

For the most part, the traffic and data you receive from submitting your sitemap to Google far outweigh the negatives of doing so. But there can be a plus side to waiting on that submission.

Good web marketing is about data. You have to gather data and react to it properly to ensure your web marketing efforts are fruitful. But once you submit that sitemap, your data will change.

If you don’t submit a sitemap to the search engines, you can look at crawl and traffic patterns on your site. If you see certain pages that are not getting the attention they deserve, you have the opportunity to investigate and fix those problems.

If you submit your sitemap, you are, in a sense, unnaturally pushing those pages on the search engines. Yes, it’s good if they index those pages as that can start bringing you traffic right away. But the page will likely underperform because whatever problems that were there are not as easy to uncover. Your efforts to fix problems will be less obvious and likely take more time to correct.

However, if you can get that unbiased data, you can more quickly fix a number of site architectural problems so that each page will perform much better later.

With all that said, if you have a new site, I say submit your site map. Surely you spent time to make sure your architecture was sound, right? However, if your site has been around a while and you still have not submitted an XML sitemap, take a bit of time to assess your data to see if there are any problems that might be masked with submission.

Get those issues fixed quickly, and then go ahead and hit that submit button. Your site’s performance will be better off for it.

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

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