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UK national newspapers neglecting sitemaps for better search indexing

April 24th, 2008Posted by in Search

UK newspaper websites are not implementing standard protocols supported by search engines such as Yahoo and Google.

According to blogger and internet consultant Martin Belam, only two of the UK’s national newspapers use sitemap.xml
– a feature which lists all pages a given site wants to be indexed by a search engine.

And the winners are: The Daily Mail, which has sitemaps for individiual sections of the website; and The Scotsman, which has one central sitemap for all pages.

As Journalism.co.uk reported last month, TimesOnline and The Independent are the only UK national titles to support the ACAP protocol. They’ve made their choice – unsupported by the search giants – and so have the Mail and Scotsman, but what are the other paper’s doing to improve indexing of their content?

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  • http://blogs.journalism.co.uk/editors Laura Oliver

    On behalf of Mark Bide, ACAP project director, who emailed me the following:

    “The key point here is that Sitemaps has nothing whatsoever to do with permissions – it is all about navigation for the crawlers. It really isn’t appropriate to contrast Sitemaps with ACAP, as if implementing one in way precluded a website from implementing another. The two specifications are entirely complementary.”

  • http://blogs.journalism.co.uk/editors Laura Oliver

    My point was not meant to suggest that the two cannot be implemented simultaneously, but that there are newspaper websites using neither one nor the other.

    Questions then need to be asked of those titles not looking to either protocol – what are their strategies re: search engines?

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