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I would like to know what the best way is to have google index pages that visitors access through search on my website.

These pages are accessible through a direct link like mywebsite.com/CompanyId.

Should i create index pages and list all of my content there so there is a direct link from my website to every page? Or is putting them in a sitemap enough?

It's a yellow pages kind of website with company information.

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Putting them in an XML sitemap should work well enough. But if you really want to be thorough you can also put the most popular searches in an HTML sitemap. You can also have a page that shows the most recent searches which allows Google to find even more search result pages within your site. And since that page will continually change, assuming Google will continue to crawl search result pages even though they aren't linked to anymore, you can be sure Google is finding new pages with fresh content.

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But isn't it true that google doesn't like pages in a sitemap that have no direct link in the website? Once i tried that and initially it seemed to work but after a while all those pages disappeared from google. I like your idea with the search results. –  Jeroen Jul 13 '11 at 14:20
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I read somewhere that Google encouraged this. I haven't been able to find the link again, though. I keep getting bad SEO websites instead. But if you want to be on the safe side take the HTML sitemap route. Not only can it do the same thing but you gain the advantage of having more pages on your site and anchor text to boost the rankings of those search pages and the other main pages of your website. –  John Conde Jul 13 '11 at 14:27
    
I will do that. –  Jeroen Jul 13 '11 at 14:34
    
FYI, John, letting search engines to index search result pages is generally against their webmaster guidelines. Google's Webmaster Guidelines [1] for instance says: "Use robots.txt to prevent crawling of search results pages or other auto-generated pages that don't add much value for users coming from search engines." [1] -- google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35769#2 –  methode Jul 13 '11 at 19:36
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