Google Webmaster Central

August 8th, 2006 by Chris

As of last Friday Google has renamed their sitemaps system to Google Webmaster Central. Matt Cutts did a video blog about it.

Google sitemaps had always been a great system, but there was a lot of confusion about it. Most people seemed to think that all it was was a tool to submit an XML sitemap to Google to expedite site crawling, and it does include that, but it also includes so much more.

Even without submitting an actual sitemap you can get crawl stats and information, such as error reports, robots.txt reports, any reports of problems that Google has in crawling your site. You can also get search stats such as the most popular terms used to find your site in Google.

Some new features include the ability to explicity specify if you want Google to use or just when referring to your site. Also new is a feature that reports some penalties if you have them, and otherwise just lets you know if you are or aren’t included in Google’s index. Finally there is a feature to submit a reinclusion request if your site is not listed.

Setting up an XML sitemap might not always be easy, especially for large or complex sites, however setting up Google Webmaster Tools to work with your site and provide all this information is very very easy, and I recommend everyone do it for all of their sites.

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