Big Oak Search Engine Optimization Company - Search engine optimization, Internet marketing, website design, ecommerce and tips from the Web. Need help driving traffic to your site? We can help you. Give us a call 1-804-741-6776 or visit Search Engine Optimization Company for more information.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Google Plans to Alert Site Owners of Potential Problems

There is some great news for website owners who fear they may
have been penalized by Google. Matt Cutts, the owner of this
quickly growing blog ( and
employee of Google, confirmed on his website that Google is
piloting a new program which will proactively alert website
owners of potential problems on their website.

This is definitely exciting for website owners who do not know
if they have been penalized, but it should not be taken for
something that it is not. Keep in mind the following points:

1. This is a pilot program. It is not a full fledged program
that guarantees everyone will be contacted who has been
negatively effected. Chances are, you will not be contacted at

2. It is an automated program. Google will not have any one
person sending out these emails, but a bot that will have to
'discover' your email address. If it can't find one, it will
try to guess an email address. If you are good at protecting
yourself from spam, you may not get a message from Google even
if they want to contact you.

There may be a day in the not-so-far future where Google is able
to contact legitimate website owners who made an honest (or
maybe not so honest) mistake. That day is not here yet, so the
responsibility is still that of the individual website owner to
make sure they have a legitimate website in the eyes of Google.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Google Sitemaps

Introduction: If you are interested in using Google Sitemap or have dipped your toe in the Google pool, this is an excellent article to give you some additional knowledge.

Having a Google Sitemap just got better! Not only does the search engine company check your sitemap, but now they give you feedback! The new feature was quickly noticed by many users of the service recently as a way for Google to alert the webmaster about possible problem pages that they have had trouble indexing.

I had the wonderful experience of getting to know this service first hand when I logged in to Google Sitemaps to check on the status of one of my many sitemaps. Along side of the address for the sitemap, there was a link with the anchor text "verify". This helps Google to know that you are the actual webmaster for that site and is a wonderful addition for security.

Once you are verified (which is a simple process of creating a page on your root directory that they will see) you are able to see the stats for the site index. Often times, you won't see anything in the stats area, but if you have recently updated, redesigned, or deleted certain pages that Google has in its index, you have a good chance of seeing something there. Google will tell you about possible errors in the indexing process such as pages that are not showing, or pages that they can't see.

You might already be familiar with the new Google Sitemap Program, but if you aren't here's a quick synopsis. The Sitemaps program is a new offering from the Google family and is currently in beta testing.

The goal of the program is to allow Google to see the complete sitemap or a sitemap of frequently changing pages. This is extremely helpful if you have links that can't be reached by the Googlebot when it's indexing your page due to things like Java script menus and such. The codes on a page that prevent the bot from viewing your site ultimately hinder you in the search engines.

So using the XML standard coding language, which is easy to understand once you get the hang of it, you create a log of the various pages on your site and tell Google some attributes about it such as the overall priority of the page, how frequently you alter the content, when the page was updated last, and of course its location.

This will give Google the overall picture of the layout of your site and does help in getting the pages indexed for greater relevancy. There are protocols for the creation of the sitemap so it's best to read all the information completely at the Google Sitemaps website at

About the Author

John Wooton Author and Creator - The SEO Journal Blog Step by step tips on effectively mastering the search engines

As with everthing in the SEO world, there is no "one thing" to guarantee success, but added up all the "little things" make you a success. Google's Sitemaps is just one more little thing that will help. If you have a large amount of pages, it should be seen as a neccessity.