When looking at the sitemaps protocol which is now endorsed by Google, Yahoo and MSN, I can’t help but crying about how obscure the documentation is, especially for the <priority> element.
Please note that the priority you assign to a page is not likely to influence the position of your URLs in a search engine's result pages.
Okay, so what’s the point?
Granted that setting all priorities to 1.0 will not make the urls rank higher than urls from other sites. But we’re talking about position of URLs here, not sites.
Sometimes, the same site appears multiple times in search results, with different pages/urls. In that case, if priority doesn’t influence which URL comes first, compared to which other comes second, then what’s the use?
For example, on a blog, the same info can be found on a post’s permanent url, on the homepage, on the category page, on the archives pages, the RSS feed, etc.
Sometimes the search will return several of these locations. If the priority can’t be used to tell that the permanent url would be the best choice to put first, then… I don’t get it! |-|
Does it mean that priorities are only used to determine what gets crawled first? If it does, then it means that maybe the 100 top priorities will be indexed and the others won’t! So the top 100 may appear in search results and the other may not!
Present vs. not present! That’s what they call “not influencing the position'?
Again, if it doesn’t do that, then what does it do?
All I can think of at that point is the priority being an alternative to <changefreq> : a site gets a certain number of reindexes a day, and high priorities pages will be refreshed more often that low priority pages.
That would comply with the definition of that <priority> does NOT do…
But then… it doesn’t make sense with what it is supposed to do:
it only lets the search engines know which pages you deem most important for the crawlers.Or by "most important", are we supposed to understand "most frequently updated"?
I really wonder who it helps to have that spec being so obscure… :»
Comments from long ago:
Comment from: increase web site traffic
I never see an improvement in my website traffic using a site map. I agree with you that it is quite useless.
Comment from: Suchmaschinenoptimierung
In general sitemaps are crap. Sometimes they might help the bots to scan a complicated site structure.