If you aren’t using Google Sitemaps to manage the search details of your blogs and websites then you are missing out on a free way to find out what Google search terms bring people to your site. Having that knowledge at hand lets you keep your readers’ interest in your pocket.

Google Sitemaps


Here’s how Google explains the Sitemaps concept:

These tables provide information about Google search
queries that returned pages from your site during the last three weeks.
Top search queries are the queries that most often returned pages from
your site and top search query clicks are the top queries that directed
traffic to your site (based on the number of clicks to your pages).

Average top position is the highest position any page from your site
ranked for that query, averaged over the last three weeks. Since our
index is dynamic, this may not be the same as the current position of
your site for this query.

Here are the current terms that get clicked through for reading on Urban Semiotic. I find the searches bringing people here fascinating and curious!
No one is searching for Anthrax Poisoning or Wendy Wasserstein or even Peanut Butter and Jelly — people are interested in Samsung and Gillette!

Google Sitemaps

Google Sitemaps give you a cold dose of reality: Commerce, products,
reviews and “carrie ann inaba nude” are what people clicked-to-find on
this blog over the last three weeks.

Harumph!
There’s a new view on the Sitemaps site where Google searches from
mobile devices like cellphones and Treos and PSPs are reported back to
you:

Google Sitemaps

If
you are running a standalone version of WordPress you can download and
install a Google Sitemaps Plugin that will condense the posts and
comments for your site and then automagically submit them to Google for
indexing with each new blog update after you first sign up for, and
then set up, Google Sitemaps.

There are other programs you can download
and install that will Sitemap index your other non-blog websites for
submission to Google Sitemaps.
Google Sitemaps always make me laugh because the service immediately
brings me into the minds of my readers and sometimes what I discover
there is not the catch I intended to hook when I created the original
post.

19 Comments

  1. Ha!
    I guess, Marvin, people who know about our sites don’t need to search us out so those who find us through search engines unwittingly stumble upon us and we hope they like what they find and stay awhile even if we don’t provide nudes!
    😀

  2. Hi David. I tried this out when you first talked about it and it is really easy to use on any website and not just a blog. It gives our company some really neat things to see what works and what doesn’t work on our site and we change keywords and other conditions to get “truer” search returns if you know what I mean.

  3. Hiya Simms!
    I’m still loving your new Avatar! It’s pretty cool!
    Sitemaps can be a valuable tracking tool to help you get into the mind of your readers and customers. It’s interesting how a search that includes “nude” would bring people here when that word appears nowhere in the article they click-through to read.
    Yes, I understand what you mean about “truer” search returns. You are trying to avoid “nude” disappointment when someone clicks to you to read you without finding that term — or image — on your site.

  4. Avoiding “click-through” disappointment is a big issue that we deal with all the time. You can never predict why someone will find you. Your mobile results above indicate a strange search on “fakes victoria principal” that, when I read the article on your site makes me wonder why that search string brought people to your blog.

  5. You make a fine point, Simms, that we cannot predict what search terms will be hooked together to pull people here — so in many ways you can’t really worry about it much because searches are so haphazard and bizarre.

  6. We worry about disappointment and then we worry about being too clear and clean cut. It’s a daily balancing act that we have to perform for visitors and Sitemaps helps us try to stay on balance.
    Oh, and thanks for the compliment on the avatar. I thought you might like it.

  7. I’m with you, Simmering — we must do our best to always be clear and concise but sometimes the unpredictability in searches is what helps create the kismet that brings us new eyes.
    I write about a lot of things here — if I only focused on reviews this site would likely do even better than it does not — but I live a polymathic life and I want this blog to reflect all the passions and magnitudes of my interests even if it means Anthrax stories go largely unread.

  8. Taste knows know lowest common denominator when it comes to web searches. If people knew every search they do is being tracked and recorded they would behave differently.