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Why XML is better than HTML for SEO


It was SEO techniques guru Greg Boser who first coined the phrase `link juice` and his expression has become the holy grail for SEO success ever since. Why? Because link juice is the very essence of website promotion and without it, your website promotion activities will simply result in buried treasure ? a valuable asset waiting to be discovered only by someone who knows where to look for it. Having a map to the treasure is one thing of course. Having a map that as many people as possible can understand is quite another. This is of course where those search engine spiders come in to the whole equation. They determine whether or not your website is valuable and relevant to the person who has searched on a phrase or a term that matches something in your content. So, clearly getting those spiders to understand your site`s content exactly is hugely important to the success of your SEO techniques and XML will perform this far more efficiently than HTML can as far as Google search results are concerned.

The Internet is a technology that is constantly evolving to satisfy user demand and search engines and SEO techniques alike have had to evolve and understand those same consumer drivers. Today, websites are expected to be far more than merely static information boards. They are now dynamic portals of discovery, interacting with visitors in all manner of ways from live streaming video to supermarket checkout trolleys. The weight of expectation is growing rapidly and search engine spiders have to be able to match this growth with performance. So, it is this insatiable demand for more interactive use that has lit the touch paper for better and fresher website construction tools and techniques and XML, which stands for Extensive Mark-Up Language, is a key new and exciting ingredient in delivering this technology.

So is HTML now dead and buried? Not at all. HTML will continue to play a vital role within website promotion because it performs a necessary function. But it`s a completely different function to XML. HTML was really designed to display data online in a certain way so content can be easily formatted in a way that would be easy for us to read online. Essentially it ensures that content is formatted correctly. XML on the other hand focuses on what the data actually is and how it can be transported and stored across platforms and displayed when requested. This is a very important and distinct difference and why XML is better than HTML for good SEO techniques and Google search results. You can almost hear the sigh of relief from those spiders when they crawl across an page of XML content. They can read it properly! The advantages of XML over HTML are many, it is more versatile, more flexible, it`s scalable and it can be completely customised. For example, in the not too distant future search engines will see a website with XML code in it and be able to read and understand exactly what you have written and perhaps answer your question directly instead of taking you to a website promotion that may or may not give you the answer. And that really is a very exciting development indeed.

But XML also has another very important function and that is your site map construction. It`s all very well having readable and relevant content on your site, but your site map is like having the contents of your treasure chest stuck on the lid. It`s what a search engine needs to navigate to you quickly, but it`s also the contents of that site map that are crucial to your website promotion activities and excellent Google search results. Whilst a standard HTML site map is visible on your site and offers a generic overview of it, it does not include the hugely important content information. It `s also generally read by visitors to your site who may want to quickly navigate to a page they can`t otherwise find easily. XML site maps on the other hand are invisible to visitors and work busily behind the scenes to inform the search spiders as to the actual content on your site in a much more efficient way, (particularly in the case of highly dynamic web sites with lots of flash) and this enables the spiders to index the site much more quickly and much more thoroughly. This is because XML will list not only all of your site`s urn`s but also the frequency of updates, the dates of the changes and the importance of individual pages relative to each other. In other words it`s a complete and dynamic road map of all the links and the content and the relevancy of your site. XML is better than HTML for SEO techniques and really will get your link juice flowing.

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