This weekend I was doing a little housekeeping on some of my domains and hosting accounts and decided to test and see if it was possible to get a website indexed using XML Sitemaps and no external links.
Since some piano player in New Jersey owns the domain MichaelGray.com I had a few options but the best was to go with my middle initial and byt the domain MichaelAGray.com. Since I’m all about wordpress as a CMS I put the files up, put up my theme of choice thesis, tweaked it with the thesis reputation skin, and installed the XML Sitemaps plugin. I set it up to ping all of the search engines as shown below:
Within 4 days the homepage for the domain was showing in Bing and Google as shown below (yahoo just didn’t love me enough)
I’m a big advocate of using sitemaps, and I think this demonstrates their effectiveness. Unless you have a really small site or really good site architecture, chances are some parts of your website aren’t as exposed, or well linked as others, and this helps you spoon feed the search engines your content insuring better crawling.
That’s not to say you should use sitemaps and not worry about spiders being able to crawl, because internal anchor text can play a huge role in SEO. However use on XML sitemaps as a redundant backup plan to help make sure you fully crawled and indexed.
photo credit: D?ri