Not too long ago, I updated one of my websites – The update to the site totally changed the URLs, pages were added, updated, removed. I noticed after a few months that my once decent Alexa rank had dropped significantly. Upon investigation, I noticed that the sitemap URL I had submitted to Google was one of the URLs affected by the update – the old sitemap URL was broken, so Google no longer has my sitemap and wasn’t able to effectively index my site or blog. My Alexa rank was around 250,000 and had dropped all the way to 698,000. (The lower the Alexa rank, the better).

You can imagine my surprise so I quickly took action and updated the sitemap URL. Since nothing else had really changed, I decided to track the Alexa rank as Google picked up the sitemap. The graph to the right shows the progress over 30 days. The change was HUGE! Clearly, sitemaps make a very big difference to how a website is reached.

Make sure you have a proper sitemap in place. If you are using a CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress, Joomla or Drupal there are plugins that automate the sitemap generation. The plugins are easy to use will really help your website’s exposure.