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Software

Google tests tool to aid Web indexing

Free program is designed to speed the flow of Web site information to the search giant's index.

Google has launched an experiment designed to speed the flow of Web site information to the search giant's index.

The program, called Sitemaps, is free to site administrators and owners, whether they manage single-page or corporate sites.

"This collaborative crawling system will allow our crawlers to optimize the usefulness of Google's index for users by improving its coverage and freshness," the company said on the Sitemaps site.

Google's latest feature comes as competitors in the search industry continue to look for ways to gain greater traction among surfers.

Sitemaps, which is currently in beta, calls for Web administrators to place a Sitemaps-formatted file on their Web servers. This allows the Google crawlers to see which pages are present on a site and which have been changed.

In order to use the tool, known as the Sitemap Generator, a Web administrator must create an XML file, know how to transfer files to a Web server and know how to run scripts. Sitemap Generator requires Python 2.2 or higher, according to Google.

The company notes, however, that using Sitemaps will not influence a site's ranking on Google's search listings.