Tuesday, February 28, 2006

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

Cross-posted to take your comments on Beyond Caffeine.