Monday, January 24, 2011

An Advanced look at the use of Sitemaps

A sitemap is such a simple, and quick win to aid your Search Engine Optimisation efforts, providing a structured overview of your entire website, and all its pages, videos, pdfs and more. This hand-holding exercise with the search engines enables you to tell the search engines directly what is on your site, improve your site saturation, and increase your search visibility for your business. If you would like some direct assistance with a sitemap for your business let me know, and the team of http://www.searchgroup.com.au/ is available to assist in getting the most for your business from your online marketing activities.

Using Sitemap index files (to group multiple sitemap files)
You can provide multiple Sitemap files, but each Sitemap file that you provide must have no more than 50,000 URLs and must be no larger than 10MB (10,485,760 bytes).
If you would like, you may compress your Sitemap files using gzip to stay within 10MB and reduce your bandwidth requirement. If you want to list more than 50,000 URLs, you must create multiple Sitemap files.

Sitemap Generator Tools

SiteMap Generator
http://www.sitemapdoc.com/
Fill in client's website address. It goes through and generates a dynamic list. Allocate priority, frequency. Then click on [XML Sitemap] to provide layout.
Click anywhere below to highlight all 56 entries, then right click, choose copy. Paste into notepad. Then save as sitemap.xml

Google Sitemap Generator: Installation
http://googlesitemapgenerator.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/doc/gsg-installation.html
Gsitemap Free Google Sitemap Generator Tool for Windows - VIGOS
VIGOS Gsitemap is a 100% FREE, easy-to-use but versatile Windows sitemap generator tool to help webmasters and website owners to create, edit and submit sitemap files.
http://www.vigos.com/products/gsitemap/

XML Sitemaps
http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/
Create an XML sitemap that can be submitted to Google, Yahoo and other search engines to help them crawl your website better.
Create a Text sitemap to have a plain list of all your pages.
Create a ROR sitemap, which is an independant XML format for any search engine.
Generate an HTML site map to allow human visitors to easily navigate on your site.

GSiteCrawler
http://gsitecrawler.com/
The GSiteCrawler is available for free and runs under Windows.
The program also offers tons of options, settings, tweaks, and more - if you want to do more than generate just a simple sitemap file. How about a urllist-file for Yahoo? an RSS feed? a ROR file? a HTML sitemap page? It's all possible with the GSiteCrawler!


If you do provide multiple Sitemaps, you should then list each Sitemap file in a Sitemap index file. Sitemap index files may not list more than 1,000 Sitemaps and must be no larger than 10MB (10,485,760 bytes). The XML format of a Sitemap index file is very similar to the XML format of a Sitemap file.

The Sitemap index file must:
Begin with an opening <sitemapindex> tag and end with a closing </sitemapindex> tag.
Include a <sitemap> entry for each Sitemap as a parent XML tag.
Include a <loc> child entry for each <sitemap> parent tag.
The optional <lastmod> tag is also available for Sitemap index files.


Note: A Sitemap index file can only specify Sitemaps that are found on the same site as the Sitemap index file. For example, http://www.yoursite.com/sitemap_index.xml can include Sitemaps on http://www.yoursite.com but not on http://www.example.com or http://yourhost.yoursite.com. As with Sitemaps, your Sitemap index file must be UTF-8 encoded.

Sample XML Sitemap Index
The following example shows a Sitemap index that lists two Sitemaps:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<sitemapindex xmlns="
http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9">
   <sitemap>
      <loc>http://www.example.com/sitemap1.xml.gz</loc>
      <lastmod>2004-10-01T18:23:17+00:00</lastmod>
   </sitemap>
   <sitemap>
      <loc>http://www.example.com/sitemap2.xml.gz</loc>
      <lastmod>2005-01-01</lastmod>
   </sitemap>
</sitemapindex>


Example Sitemap.xml
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
<urlset xmlns="
http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9 http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9/sitemap.xsd">
   <url>
      <loc>http://www.example.com/</loc>
      <lastmod>2005-01-01</lastmod>
      <changefreq>monthly</changefreq>
      <priority>0.8</priority>
   </url>
</urlset>


<changefreq> options:
    * always
    * hourly
    * daily
    * weekly
    * monthly
    * yearly
    * never