When you write a post on your blog, the last thing you want for it is for it to sit idle and unnoticed by the masses. What you really want is for it to appear on search engines, particularly Google, so that traffic can be driven to your post and also your website by extension.
There are a couple of methods that you can use in order to ensure that your post will show up on Google: Crawling & Indexing. Below the two different methods are outlined so that you can understand the process and also put them to use.
Crawling is the process where the Googlebot goes around from website to website, finding new and updated information to report back to Google. Indexing means add the pages(or information) gathered by the Googlebot from its crawling activities to the list of other crawled pages belonging to the same category.
Google’s crawl process begins with a list of web page URLs, generated from previous crawl processes, and augmented with Sitemap data provided by webmasters.
How to make Google crawl and Index your website Faster
Sitemap is a way to help Search Engines to easily discover newly added pages from their websites. Sitemap contains a list of each page on your website accessible to crawlers or users. There are two popular versions of a site map- XML Sitemaps and HTML sitemaps. XML Sitemap tells the search engine about the pages in a site, their relative importance to each other, and how often they are updated. HTML sitemaps are designed for the user to help them find content on the page. Create an XML sitemap and submit it to Google in your Webmaster Tools to make Google crawl and Index your website Faster.
XML Sitemap plugins for WordPress users
There are many XML Sitemap plugins are available for WordPress users. It automatically creates and updates your sitemap for you as well as submits it to search engines.
BWP Google XML Sitemaps
This plugin helps you generate Sitemap files for each section of your blog and Sitemap Index files. With BWP GXS you will no longer have to worry about the 50,000 URL limit. You can split large sitemaps into multiple smaller ones containing Posts, Pages, Custom Posts, Categories, Tags, Custom Taxonomies, Date and Author Archives, a Google News Sitemap, External Pages and so on. A Sitemap Index is one kind of sitemaps that allows you to group multiple sitemap files inside it.
This plugin generates an XML sitemap for your blog just after installing and activating the plugin. This sitemap can be used in all search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. The next step is to submit the sitemap index to major search engines. You only need the sitemap index and nothing else, those search engines will automatically recognize other included sitemaps. When you post something new to your blog, you can ping those search engines to tell them your blog just got updated. Pinging could be less effective than you think it is but you should enable such feature anyway.
BWP Google XML Sitemaps also support WordPress Multi-site installations and Google News sitemap. A Google News Sitemap is a file that allows you to control which content you submit to Google News. By creating and submitting a Google News Sitemap, you’re able to help Google News discover and crawl your site’s articles.
You can customize all these features in the plugin’s Settings page.
How to install and configure Better WordPress Google XML Sitemaps.
- The following image illustrates installation procedure.
- Log into your wordpress admin.
- Go to Plugins >> Add New.
- In the search box enter ‘BWP Google XML Sitemaps’ and search.
- Select ‘Better WordPress Google XML Sitemaps (with sitemapindex, multi-site and Google News sitemap support)’ from search results and clink on the link ‘Install Now’.
- Go to Plugins >> Installed Plugins. Find BWP Google XML Sitemaps and activate the plugin.
- BWP GXS -> Sitemap Statistics: Once the plugin is installed and activated go to BWP GXS -> Sitemap Statistics.
This page contains general information about the sitemap index file that has been created, as well as links to all of the individual sitemap pages that have been created, and a running log of sitemap activity.
- Next click on Sitemap Generator tab which has all of the options for the plugin.
In the first section, you can specify how many posts to include in each sitemap, the maximum being 50,000. When any individual sitemap hits this number, it will break the posts out into different files. You can also change the frequency of sitemap updates, which should generally match how often your blog is updated, and set a minimum or maximum priority for individual posts. This section also has a few style tweaks for the sitemap itself, and has a “Clean unexpected output” option, which should be turned off only if your sitemap is showing a blank page or throwing up an error.
- The next section lets you set number of urls in each site map, which post types and which taxonomies to include/exclude from the sitemap listing, which archive pages to include.
By default, only category archive pages will be included, but you can also add date or author pages, or even external links.
- Next you can see Module Options & Caching Options. Module Options set some options about how the plugin connects to your database and WordPress install. Generally, these should be left alone.
- Caching Options specifies whether sitemaps should be cached, or stored as static files until a new one is created. Unless you have a caching plugin like WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache enabled, you should enable this option to increase server performance. You can specify how long cached sitemaps should last, and where on your WordPress install they should be stored.
Better WordPress Google XML Sitemaps is a very useful plugin with lot of features. Definitively use this plugin to improve your site visibility on search engines.