You may have noticed in one of my recent links that Ask.com and Live have joined into the Sitemaps standard. The term sitemap is pretty self-explanatory – it's a means for search engines to map out your website easily. Sitemaps are constructed in XML so that they can be easily consumed through programming. I have a stylesheet applied to my sitemap so that you can see what information is contained.
Sitemaps and WordPress
With WordPress, it's simple to automate and build your sitemaps. Just install the Google Sitemap Plugin. I am running the 3.0b6 version of the plugin and it's fantastic. I recently modified the plugin and added Ask.com submission support as well. I've submitted my changes to the developer and hope he adds them and releases the next version.
Submitting your Sitemap to Ask.com
You can submit your sitemap to Ask.com manually through their site submission tool:
http://submissions.ask.com/ping'sitemap=[Your Sitemap URL]
I was excited to see this and immediately submitted my site and began work on the plugin modification. I know that Ask.com recently overhauled their home page and got some press so I thought it would lead to some additional traffic.
Is Anyone Asking Ask.com?
Over 50% of my daily visits come from Google but I have yet to see a single visitor from Ask.com! I see a trickle of Yahoo! visitors and a few Live visitors… but no Ask.com visitors. In viewing some of the Ask.com search results, many of them look quite aged… much older (sometimes a year old) references to my old Domain Name and old articles. Perhaps this is a key reason why Ask.com isn't getting any traffic? Do any of you use Ask.com?