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Sitemap vs No sitemap - the ultimate test - PART 1

Posted at September 5th, 2010
We have received a couple of (10+) e-mails over the last few months from (potential) users of freesitemapgenerator.com with more or less the same question: Should I create a sitemap for my site? Google says you should - so you should, see our links page but do sitemaps actually work? A year ago we posted a message on this page with some nice graphics of howmany pages were indexed by google before and after submitting a sitemap but now we are ready for a real double blind test!

For a customer we created a program to generate a sitemap for their database driven travel site. Each subdomain contains more or less the same information but in another language and has 125,000 unique urls. All subdomains are linked only from the English homepage and will not be promoted on their own. Our educated guess is that all subdomains will have about the same number of pages indexed by Yahoo!, Google and Bing. For two of the subdomains we did not submit the sitemap and did not upload it to the webserver. They just don't exist and all the spiders should try to figure out themselves all the possible urls. Now we wait. In about a month we will report the number of indexed pages for these subdomains. We don't take bets.

(and yes, our client knows about this test - we will add the last two sitemaps when this test is concluded)


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