Wednesday, January 06, 2010
Many websites have HTML sitemap for its human visitors, which list all the webpages in the website which helps a human visitor to find what he/she is looking for in the website, same ways XML Sitemaps are created for search engine spiders and not for human visitors.
XML Sitemap helps search engines crawlers to crawl the website and keep their results up to date. These XML sitemaps can be submitted to Google, Bing and Yahoo! search engines.
XML sitemaps do not guarantee all links will be crawled and being crawled does not guarantee indexing. However, XML sitemap is still the best insurance for getting a search engine to learn about your entire website.
In XML sitemap, errors are not tolerated, and so syntax must be exact. It is advised to validate the XML sitemap every time before going live.
The Sitemap must:
All other tags are optional. For example: <lastmod>, <changefreq>, <priority>
<urlset>: Encapsulates the file and references the current protocol standard.
<url>: Parent tag for each URL entry. The remaining tags are children of this tag.
<loc>: URL of the page. This URL must begin with the protocol (such as http or https).
<lastmod>: The date of last modification of the file. This date should be in W3C Datetime format. [YYYY-MM-DD].
<changefreq>: How frequently the page is likely to change. Valid values are:
<priority>: The priority of this URL relative to other URLs on your site. The default priority of a page is 0.5. Valid values range from 0.0 to 1.0. Please note that the priority you assign to a page is not likely to influence the position of your URLs in a search engine's result pages.
Below is a sample XML sitemap:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9"> <url> <loc>http://www.example.com/</loc> <lastmod>2010-12-31</lastmod> <changefreq>monthly</changefreq> <priority>0.7</priority> </url> </urlset>
Your Sitemap file must be UTF-8 encoded. As with all XML files, any data values (including URLs) must use entity escape codes.
Once your XML sitemap is ready upload it in your root folder. I strongly recommend to upload your XML sitemap in the root directory of your website. For example, if your website is 'http://www.example.com/' then your XML sitemap file should be at 'http://www.example.com/sitemap.xml'.
Joydeep Deb is a Senior Digital Marketer and Project Manager with 15+ years of experience in Digital Marketing, Lead Generation, Online Brand Management, Marketing Campaigns, Project Management, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), PPC, eMail Marketing, Web Analytics, Web Technologies, Web Design and Development.
With an MBA in Marketing. IIM Calcutta Alumini. Lives in Bangalore, Karnataka - India.
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