Google Sitemap is also an IBL link checker

I was installing a Google Sitemap on a client site today and came across a nifty feature that I haven't seen anyone mention yet.

Once you have uploaded the sitemap, it will come back with whether or not there has been an error. As long as there isn't, most people stop there. But there is a link right beside the sitemap in the control panel called "verify".

Being a cautious and curious sort, I decided that although there were no errors, and the sitemap had already been spidered, I'd verify it anyway. In order to do this you need to upload a fake file with a specific name, so that Google can verify that you actually have control over the site.

Once we did so, I was shown a screen that informed me that Google had trouble spidering the following 10 links, then listed them. The interesting thing is that not one of the links listed were in the sitemap!

This leads me to believe that this is a nifty method of checking broken or difficult IBL's to your site. Naturally, we are creating a 301 redirect for these links to deal with the lost traffic and PR...

Just thought I'd pass that along.


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