Saturday, May 16, 2009

Increase Your Blog Traffic

Google Webmaster Tools have been around for a while now, but many bloggers do not know how to utilize these tools to increase blog traffic. I use two quick and easy techniques, Sitemaps and Robots.txt, that I will discuss in this article.



Add Your Blog Sitemap


Step 1: Find Your Blog Sitemap

A blog sitemap is an XML feed of every link available on your blog. By default most blogging platforms, including WordPress, Blogger, and Moveable Type, have an RSS feed preinstalled on your blog. An RSS feed is a feed made using XML so there is no setup, it’s already there!

Examples for popular blog platforms:

WordPress - http://www.blogname.com/rss
Blogger - http://blogname.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default
Moveable Type - http://www.blogname.com/atom.xml
Feed Burner - http://feeds.feedburner.com/blogname

Just replace blogname with the name of your site. Use the examples above to figure out what your feed URL is. You will need it in the next step.

Step 2: Load your blog sitemap in to Google Webmaster Tools

Visit the Google Webmaster Tools Home Page and login to your Google account. If you don’t have a Google account, register one real quick.

Once logged in to the Tools dashboard you will see a textbox at the top allowing you to add your blog:

Google Webmaster Tools Dashboard Screenshot

Type your site URL in and click the “Add Site” button.

Next you will need to Verify your blog to Google. Click the “Verify your site” link and follow the instructions given by Google.

Once you have verified your blog click the “Sitemaps” menu item from the left hand side and click the “Add A Sitemap” link.

Select “Add General Web Sitemap” when asked to Choose Type. You will then see a text box to enter in your RSS feed URL like this:

Add Sitemap Tool

Enter your feed URL and click the “Add General Web Sitemap” button and your done! Once Google verifies your feed is in the proper format they will then crawl your feed daily to look for new links.

The benefit of providing Google with a sitemap is to help them improve how they crawl your blog. Over time you will start to notice an increase in search engine ranking which will result in more traffic.



Add Your Robots.txt File


Step 1: Update/create your robots.txt file

A robots.txt file is a small text file placed on your blogs web server that tells search engines what they are allowed, and not allowed, to index on your blog. Most blogs come with a robots.txt file preinstalled. Check to see if your blog has one by visiting the following URL on your blog:

http://www.blogname.com/robots.txt

Just replace blogname with the name of your site. We are going to create a new robots.txt file so it doesn’t matter if you do not currently have a robots.txt file on your blog.

Create a text file named robots.txt on your desktop. Enter the following code in to your newly created file:

User-agent: *
Disallow:
Sitemap: http://www.blogname.com/sitemap.xml

User-agent: * - indicates to all search engines they are allowed to crawl your site
Disallow: - incidates what URLs to exclude from being crawled by search engines. Since we are not entering a value to the right we are telling all search engines to crawl everything on your blog
Sitemap: http://www.blogname.com/sitemap.xml - indicates to the search engines where your sitemap is located. Use the sitemap link from the previous tip.

Save your file and upload to the root directory of your server. Google looks for a robots.txt file on your blog once a day. You can verify that Google finds your file by visiting the following Webmaster Tool section:

Dashboard > Tools > Analyze robots.txt

That’s it! Now all search engines will know where your sitemap is located from your robots.txt file. The major benefit of this is to help search engines find your new posts and links easier.

Google Webmaster Tools offer some really great statistics about how Google crawls and indexes your blog. Make sure you poke around in the other sections.

11 comments:

adrie said...

Pada "STEP 1", kode : "http://blogname.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default" dapat digunakan sebagai alamat feed, kalau kita mau membuat "RECENT POST"

TQ

Anonymous said...

Good article..very informatif

Enes said...

hi! where exactly can I upload my robot.txt? can i access the root directory of a blog from blogger.com?

Sahabat said...

If you are using blogger.com, it's possible for you to put your robot text within the HEAD tag.

But if you use your own web hosting, put it into the root directory of your server.

Thanks

Enes said...

Thanks for there reply? how's that? What's the code? Thanks!

Sahabat said...

As you are using Blogger, just put the robots text between :
<head> and </head>

And the codes are :
<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”>
It means : prohibit robot to indexing your webpage

<meta name=”robots” content=”nofollow”>
It means : allow the robot to indexing your web page, but all hyperlink inside will not be indexed or followed

<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex,nofollow”>
It means : prohibit the robot to indexing the web page and all hyperlink will not be followed, and also prevent web-stripper (mirroring) to download something from that web page

So, I hope you'll understand the meaning of codes below :
<meta name=”robots” content=”index,follow”>
<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex,follow”>
<meta name=”robots” content=”index,nofollow”>

Enes said...

Thank you Sahabat! it was such a good help... keep in touch!

IZMILD BLOG said...

Thanks for good info. Would you tell me the difference between "google verification" and "google Sitemap".

Thanks.
M.Ismail

rahman said...

mantap infonya bro...

rahman said...

baru aja bikin site map di google webmaster :-)

Sahabat said...

@IZMILD : Google Verification : Google akan memverifikasi situs anda yang anda daftarkan di Google bila anda telah memasukkan kode verifikasi pada meta tag.
Google sitemap : ya site mapnya situs kita, namun tidak akan diverifikasi sebelum dimasukkan kode verifikasi pada meta tag di atas.

Semoga membantu

Post a Comment

Please submit your comments below.
If you find an error on word verification, just click at the "word verification" to show the word verification box.
Thanks