What is the Quality of your Sitemap.xml file?

How important is it to have an accurate, up-to-date sitemap.xml file for search engines?

According to Bing, it is very important.

In today’s Whiteboard Friday at SEOmoz, Duane Forrester of Bing unveiled the idea that Bing has a quality threshold for the sitemap.xml file that a website submits. Duane states that Bing only wants to see “end state URLs” in the sitemap.xml. This declaration provides some insight to those keeping up on their sitemap.xml file.

Do not include URLs of the following nature:url address bar

  • No 404, 302, 301, etc.
  • No rel=”canonical”

This solidifies the importance for your sitemap.xml to be up-to-date and accurate with URL inclusion. Duane didn’t unfold that specifics of what happens to websites with “dirty” sitemap.xml files. He only indicates that a “dirty” sitemap.xml does impact how Bing views your website.

Facebook “Likes” to Influence Your Bing Ranking

At the Bing Search Summit, Microsoft alluded to the impact that social networking websites are having on search results. Although acknowledged in the very early stages of implementation, this assessment is key in the next step in the SEO ‘game’.

Bing is using social annotations, like the Facebook “Like”, to become a ranking factor. In time they see this creating a better personalized search results.

This information is solid proof that you shouldn’t overlook Facebook and the other social networking sites when planning your upcoming marketing efforts. As so many marketers, SEOs, and web developers suggest; ignoring social media will get you left in the cold.