Archive for October, 2009

Sitemaps for Your Website

Sitemaps are very important for larger websites. If you own a website that has many webpages, say over 50, then it becomes increasingly important to have a site map. If you create a new webpage, you don’t submit it to the search engines – you just need to add it to your sitemap.

There are basically two types of sitemap:

  1. Site maps to help your website visitors, and
  2. Site maps to help the search engines

Sitemaps for your website visitors are meant to help website visitors find stuff on your site. Usually a link is placed at the bottom of the page saying “sitemap”, and it is a HTML page that you create that basically organizes your site into categories, kinda like a Table of Contents in a book.  The HTML sitemap page shouldn’t have every page in your site listed – it should just have all the important pages, or the ones people tend to look for or that might be hard to find.

Sitemaps for search engines are meant to help a robot spider your website. The spider can just scroll down the list of pages you have made showing it every page you want indexed. The sitemap file for Google is an XML file called “sitemap.xml”, and is placed at the root directory of your site like this: www.mysite.com/sitemap.xml. There are lots of sites that will make the file for you, the best I’ve found is XML Sitemaps. This particular service, which is free, also generates a second file called “urllist.txt” which is the file that the Yahoo spider looks for.  You just run the service on your site, download the two files, then upload them to your root directory, it is that simple. (you double check the files first, of course)

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