First there was Google
Earlier this summer Google announced their Google Sitemaps tool that allows web site owners to create an XML or plain text file listing all of the urls of a web site for inclusion in the Google index. At least up to 50,000 and if you’re over, you can just create another site map.
Google offers this tool as a compliment to what Googlebot, Google’s search engine spider, can find on it’s own by crawling from link to link on the web. In cases where a site might have some difficulty getting indexed, providing a sitemap to Google may assist in getting missing pages into Google’s search results.
Google does not charge for this beta service and it’s pretty easy to do. However, as a beta, there are no guarantees.
What about Yahoo?
For companies that want to provide a large number of urls to Yahoo, the Yahoo Search Submit paid inclusion program offers the opportunity to have guaranteed inclusion in Yahoo’s organic index. Search results display intermingled with urls that are discovered naturally by Slurp, Yahoo’s web crawler. There is a cost per URL for inclusion and also a cost per click based on the category your business falls into. Unlike sponsored listings, there is no effect on ranking to use the Paid Inclusion program, only the guarantee that your web site will be included in the Yahoo search engine index.
You can also pay Yahoo $299 per year to be included in the Yahoo Directory. There is no guarantee, even in you pay, that you will be accepted or that your suggested title, description and category will be used.
Yahoo offers a sitemap inclusion
I fist heard this at Search Engine Strategies in San Jose from Tim Mayer about an option for submitting multiple urls to Yahoo for free. Normally you have to submit one URL at a time. Now, you can submit many urls at once using Yahoo’s free submission service.
You’ll need to sign up for a free Yahoo account though, thanks for the reminder John. 🙂
Basically, you create a list of all the urls you want indexed in a text file and name it urllist.txt (Yahoo’s suggestion). Example: http://www.domainname.com/urllist.txt. If you are providing a plain text list of urls to Google Sitemaps, then you can use that same file for Yahoo. You can also provide a compressed file and call it urllist.gz.
Place the file in the main directory of your web site and submit the URL to the Yahoo free submit form.
Rather than pay for inclusion, many sites with crawlable urls may benefit from using the multiple URL submission option at Yahoo rather than the Search Submit paid inclusion. The tradeoff is, it’s not guaranteed.
It’s important to note that inclusion is not search engine optimization. But it is important, because if none or only part of your site is included in a search engine’s index, then you could be missing out on significant amounts of natural search traffic.
Both SEOScoop and SERoundtable commented on the Yahoo Sitemap Submission today.
Tags: Google Sitemaps, Yahoo Search Submit, paid inclusion, Google, Yahoo