I run a travel and tourist site for San Juan Island Kulshan.com. A long time ago we wrote up reviews for all the islands, the major towns, and the high tourism attractions. The site is structured this way:
We also create a Google Site map giving the home page has the highest priority, the islands the next highest, the cities a lower priority and the individual write-ups the lowest priority. All pretty standard. However, when we started to look at the reports from Google Webmaster Tools we saw something very disturbing:
We were telling Google about 220 pages, however only 93 had been indexed. Why was this? We presumed it was because there where no external links to the leaf pages (the individual reviews of restaurants, parks, beaches, and trails). Google crawler was doing exactly what we asked, traverse the high priority pages in the site map and leave the low priority pages. The leaf pages (the reviews) that were linked externally where being indexed, however Google was assuming the rest where not worth the effort (or room to index). Since the majority of our traffic was directly coming to the reviews from Google search, we need to figure out a way to get all the reviews listed in Google index.
What we decide to do was blog about all the new additions to the web site, when we posted a new review, then we wanted to tell the world about it, blog it. Basically the web site itself is a reference site, structured in a tree. However, what we needed was a news sites, that told people what was going on with the structure. So we create Kulshan.com Blog (Kulshan.com Blog). This was created on Blogger (blogspot.com).
It took Google 5 days to traverse the blog (we link to it from the bottom of every page on Kulshan.com). The this is what Google crawler found: Link Results For Kulshan.com Blog. Once Google crawler found the page, it took another 24 hours for the link to the main site to appear in Google’s search results. Success.
Currently we are avoiding the temptation to add all the reviews to the blog that are missing from Google search. Just doing the newly added reviews to the web site.