ROR Sitemaps

Apparently I got behind in new technologies and had missed hearing about ROR somehow. Granted, the ROR technology is only celebrating its’ 1 year anniversary, but even still, I do try to keep up. So, essentially, let me cover what I’ve learned about ROR recently.

In A Nutshell:
ROR is a an acronym for “Resource of a Resource” and is essentially an XML file that acts as an additional resource about your website for search engines to crawl for relevant data. The more information a search engine has to learn about your website, the more it can help your website positioning in searches. ROR XML files are readable by ALL search engines.

This comes in stark contrast to the Google Sitemap tool that uses a format only Google can read easily. Choosing to use ROR instead, means that Google can read it, but so can every other search engine. Additionally, you can use your ROR XML file within the Google Sitemaps tracking service for webmasters.

If you would like to test out what a ROR sitemap looks like, you can go to this online ROR sitemap generator, and create your own. You simply upload it to your server, and add a link to it in your HTML. If you wish to use the same file for Google Sitemaps for Webmasters, you can do that. You just go to the Google Sitemap tool, create an account if you don’t have one, add your website and fill in the blank for the URL where your ROR file is. When you’ve done that, Google will ask you to upload a file to your server to prove it’s your server. You upload the file, click a little validate button in the Google Sitemap page, and you’ve set it all up. Now Google has your site on super-charged indexing mode.

The ROR site has a free software program you can download that will do this for you, and you can add even more detail than the online ROR sitemap generator does.

On another good note, the folks who made ROR also recently came out with a new open project called Meaningful Fuel. This project is a metadictionary wiki, and should be able to be used hand-in-hand to continue to improve ROR.

Overall, an interesting thing to learn, and I’m definitely glad I found out that I had missed this before another year had passed 😉

~Nicole

3 thoughts

  1. Hi Nicole

    I read about ror and decided to give it a go. What appealed most was the ability to create actual product directories so you effectively submit every product – price and description etc which hopefully gets spidered and crawled easier.

    I’d also read a few comments that complained of an ror sitemap causing loss of rank and position in search engine results – google most noticably.

    Anyway I pressed ahead with the ror sitemap, submitted it to Yahoo and a ror site map submission site (name escapes me now) and hey presto – nothing! One request on the ror index in November and thats it.

    I think it has affected search position on google as well as we don’t appear so near the top for certain phrases as we did before. Still no sign of it appearing in Yahoo (despite reading that it was a ‘yahoo answer to google sitemap’.

    DO you think I should submit my ror to google instead of the google sitemap i have at present? Would this help at all? Your thoughts and comments welcome.

    Jonathan
    http://www.fabulousphotogifts.co.uk – personalised photo jigsaws.

  2. Jonathan,

    It’s good to hear from someone on this topic. I’ve actually had quite different results with my sitemap submissions, seeing my hits peak with more properly targeted results. Now, a sitemap isn’t going to give ‘clickthroughs’ like a regular link search. It’s not for that purpose. The purpose is to remove the guess-work on behalf of the search engine companies, and to tell them -exactly- what you have so they can properly organize and prioritize your site listing. The ROR sitemap isn’t for general public viewing, it’s for the search companies.

    What -may- (and I’m guessing here) be the cause of a drop in rank is that the search engines have to ‘estimate’ what is on your site based on the keywords. They may have been off in their estimate, assuming more relevance for some topics that didn’t actually fit your site. Giving them a sitemap gives them the exact listing of what you have, so you should be re-indexed properly based on your ‘real’ content, versus their guessing.

    As far as Google goes, they claim to give ranking preference to those who submit sitemaps properly through their Google sitemap tool.. I’m not very familiar with how Yahoo does this on a deeper level, but I would expect it is a similar process.

    So yes, to answer your question – I’d suggested submitting to the Google Sitemaps. I’ve had good results there and can recommend it.

    ~Nicole

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