Google Sitemaps Now Webmaster Central

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They have renamed the website to Webmaster Central and launched some new tools to help their Sitemaps users get more out of the service.

The Sitemaps service may be found as part of Google’s Webmaster Central. Sitemaps helps webmasters see their sites as Google’s crawlers see them, an invaluable way to find potential roadblocks keeping a site from being indexed optimally.

Product manager Vanessa Fox, one of many Googlers attending SES 2006 in San Jose this week, wrote about the name change and some new features for Sitemaps at the new Webmaster Central Blog. Sitemaps has been renamed to “Google webmaster tools,” accurate but a bit lengthy.

The team has acknowledged requests from webmasters to see their sites indexed with or without the www prepended to the domain name. Through the tool, webmasters can request that Google index their sites and have URLs show up in the requested manner.

Webmasters can download a CSV-formatted file containing the query stats for each subfolder. This shows the top queries that brought up the site on Google. They have also updated how the service displays crawl errors, by showing the types of errors Google gets during a crawl.

As developers and other people with access to a site depart, the site owners will want to remove them from being verified to access the site information in Webmaster Tools. Webmasters can use the “Manage site verification” link to remove entries that are no longer valid.

For a reminder of who and where Googlers will be at SES, Google posted a list of sessions and people who will be on hand for them. We are surprised Google didn’t use this service along with the official blog to post this information, though.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Google Sitemaps Now Webmaster Central
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