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New features in Google Sitemaps

Google Sitemaps is another way for webmasters to inform and direct Google's crawlers. Google Sitemaps does not help you to improve your rankings on Google. It is just another way to invite Google's spider.

You can find further information about the basic features of this service in the Google Sitemaps article we published in June.

What's new in Google Sitemaps?

Last week, Google added new features to its Sitemaps service. After verifying that you are really the webmaster of a site, you can access some statistics about the information Google has about your site.

Among other things, you can find out if Google's spider has problems with HTTP errors, redirection errors or DNS errors when trying to index your site. This kind of information can help you to spot possible reasons when Google doesn't index your site.

A security hole allowed people to access statistics of other sites

Unfortunately, Google overlooked a security hole when releasing the new features. For example, the moderator of the SEW webmaster forum checked the stats of the White House. Others could access the statistics of AOL.com, eBay.com and a variety of other sites.

While this information is not very private, it shows that the information Google has about you is not necessarily secure. Another security hole in Google's new Google Base service allowed hackers to access emails in Gmail (see news below). Both security holes have been fixed in the meantime.

The new tools in Google Sitemaps can help you to find out why your web site does not get spidered by Google.

In contrast to Google Analytics, we recommend this service because you don't have to reveal additional information about your site and your revenue when using Google Sitemaps.

Before submitting your web pages to Google via Google Sitemaps (or Google's normal submission feature) you have to optimize your web pages for Google. If your web pages aren't optimized, your web site might not be listed for your best search terms.

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November 2005 search engine articles