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Google Site Maps

What exactly is a Google sitemap ? A google sitemap is an .xml file that is used by googlebot to crawl your website for pages to include in the Google search engine. It is a quick and easy way for you to keep your web site constantly indexed and updated in Google. Any webmaster with knowledge of PHP and .xml schema can generate a sitemap for you.

Google has supplied a tool or generator which you can use to crawl your site and generate an .xml file automatically. The problem with the tool they are supplying is that you must have access to your web server and an application called python must be installed in order to use the generator.
This leaves most web sites in the dark as most people do not have direct access to the server, and makes things harder than it needs to be.

I have noticed quite a few SEO sites are now offering to generate a google sitemap for you, for a fee. There is no need to pay a third party to generate simple .xml file for you. All you have to do is download this google sitemap generator that will automate the process for you. Thank you to the staff over at Enarion for the development of this simple sitemap generator. Please support them for there hard work which they in turn distribute to us for free.

Once you have downloaded and installed your new free sitemap generator, you are ready to create the .xml file. You will notice that there is a specific schema that you must follow in order to create this file and have it used properly by the spiders. A schema looks like this:

  • <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <urlset xmlns="http://www.google.com/schemas/sitemap/0.84">
    <url>
    <loc>http://www.yoursite.com/index.html</loc>
    <priority>1.0</priority>
    <lastmod>2005-07-03T16:18:09+00:00</lastmod>
    <changefreq>daily</changefreq>
    </url>
    </urlset>

The Priority field is for importance of the page. How important is this page on a scale of .00 – 1.0 for your web site? If it is the most important page in your site then a value of 1.0 should be used. The value for this tag is a number between 0.0 and 1.0, where 0.0 identifies the lowest priority page(s) on your site and 1.0 identifies the highest priority page(s) on your site.

The last mod field is used to tell the spider when the page was last updated. This is self explanatory.

The Changefreq field is used to let the googlebot spider know how often a pages content changes. For example your sitemap may change daily as you add new web pages to your web site. “Yearly”, “monthly”, “daily”, “weekly” and “hourly” are valid values for this field.

Once you have your google sitemap generated and ready to go, it’s time to submit it to Google. In order to submit a sitemap to google you must have a google account setup. If you have a gmail account you can go ahead and use that, or just setup a new account.

If you would rather not mess around with this new technology we would be more than happy to assist you in this new endeavor. Please use our contact us form for a quote on our expert organic SEO consulting services.