I have a site map of a few thoasand pages where the only different content on them is the title attribute and the content plotted out in a google map?

Will google punish me for this as spam?


The common wisdom says 'yes'. Your page rank is a direct representation of the worth of your contribution to the internet. If you're trying to appear like you have more content by creating duplicate, or near duplicate pages, expect to be chastised appropriately.

Dave Cheney

I am not looking for a "common wisdom" answer. I am talking about this specific case.

The content IS different but may not appear different to google depending on its ability to read its own maps.


Google doesn't understand javascript, if the pages look the same in links, then google won't find much value in them

Dave Cheney

The value is in the maps, which are in iframes on a different domain. From Google's point of view, providing a user with one of your pages as a result is not likely to be useful to that user.

+1  A: 

Google has a specific standard for indexing geo-spatial content which they call a "Geo sitemap". It's just an extension of the sitemaps.org protocol that adds an XML namespace and some extra tags to clue Google into your content which has map-related information on it.

If you're already using KML to generate your maps, this can be as simple as pointing Google to the data files on your server instead of the user-accessible pages. If you are generating your maps via other methods, you can achieve it by creating "shadow" KML files that mirror your content just for the Google crawler.

As I recall the keys to this process were:

  • Mirror your content using KML (Keyhole Markup Language)
  • Mark each item in KML with an atom:author element so Google can attribute it
  • Mark each item in KML with an atom:link element which directs back to your presentation of that content
  • Include the atom:author and atom:link elements at Document scope also
  • Put the KML in your GEO sitemap and mark it appropriately

One gotcha I discovered is you must put your geo sitemap content in a separate file from your other sitemaps and link to it via a sitemap index file. Then submit the geo sitemap separately in Google Webmaster Tools (marking it as a GEO sitemap) so they will notice.

Google Developer Day 2007 had some presentations on this that are now on YouTube including "Google and the GeoWeb" and "KML Search and Dev Maps Mashups". There may be other related content on the Google Developer Day YouTube channel.

Tim Farley