Once again Google is taking the lead at making
their search engine results the most relevant
in the industry. With Google sitemaps webmasters
don't have to wait for spiders to index their
sites. Google sitemap empowers the Webmaster to
submit page links pertaining to sites through
one sitemap page. And what's great about this
process is that when you add other pages to your
site, all you need to do is add those pages to
the sitemap file produced by Google. Google. Will
even help you debug problems with your pages.
Will this process increase time to index? Google
has also stated that since sitemaps is a Beta
program they cannot guarantee when or if URLs
will be crawled or added to their index.
So how would I participate in this program? I
am glad you asked this question. First, access
is free, yes free. Any site owner can participate
in the Google sitemaps program. Site owners with
single page sites to owners with millions of ever
changing pages. Now lets get into the fun part,
creating a sitemap.
There are a number of ways to create sitemaps
using the sitemap protocol.
- If the majority of your site is a HTML static
file or your URLs can be found in your access
Logs or if you have a text file that contains
a list of URLs in your site, you can use the
Google sitemap generator.
- If the majority of your site is dynamic URLs
and may not show up in your access logs, you
can generate a list of URLs as a text file and
then use the Google sitemap generator.
- You may not be able to use the Google sitemap
generator. In this case you may be able to use
a third party tool to create a sitemap.
- Create the file manually or use a script
based on the sitemap protocol that extracts
dynamic content as URLs and includes information
such as last modified date for those URLs. Once
you sitemap is complete its time to place the
file on your site. You must place the completed
sitemap in the highest directory that you would
like Google to crawl. Why is this so? Because
Google can only accept URLs contained in your
sitemap that are the same directory level or
lower. If you only have access to sub directories
place the sitemap at the tip most directory
you have access and ensure the URLs listed in
the sitemap are at that level or lower.
Now add the sitemap to your sitemap account and
your all done. Its as easy as that. Things to
keep in mind
- A sitemap can contain a list of URLs or a
list of sitemaps.
- If your sitemap file contains a list of other
sitemaps then you should save the sitemap file
as a sitemap index file and use XML format provided
for that file type.
- A sitemap file can only contain no more than
50,000 URLs. If your site ahs more than 50,000
URLs then split up the URLs into smaller sitemap
files and link them together.
- Completely specify each URL .