Having recently noticed someone selling their Internet marketing wares recently and including the fact that Google picks up their blog content within an hour as a selling point, I’d rather like to point out that this is actually a simple thing for most people. It is not some magical SEO bonus bestowed upon those in the know; it is standard practice if you make it easy for Google to do such.
Think about it. What does Google want to do? What is its purpose?
Google’s aim is to provide you, the searcher/user/however you like to be known with the most relevant websites for your search. And the best way it can do that is to work those spiders hard – sending them out to updated and new content as fast as their little legs can manage (ok – enough with the analogy now!).
So how can you tell Google that you have fresh content? Well if you include a XML sitemap plugin then you’re doing it! A sitemap simply lists all the pages within a website, so any changes to this list are easily spotted and updated. When this post goes live, I’ll check Google after 10 minutes and will be surprised if it’s not listing already – not magic, rocket science or fairy dust – it’s just what Google does if you help it.
We use the Google XML Sitemaps plugin but there are several available to you (as with most plugins!). To then set this up, Settings, Google XML Sitemaps – go through each option and set to what you want. It’s quite a list, but don’t be daunted. If you’re at all unsure, leave the standard, default settings in place, or get us to check yours with you. One thing to watch is not to request updates too frequently – any such settings will be suggestions anyway, but if you do update Google too often with the same post, that may not be well-regarded. Let’s face it, daily is more than adequate for most of us – it’s not that long since we had to wait months for our pages to be listed in Google – now we’re talking in hours or even minutes.