Creating a Simple Google Sitemap





There is a way to tell Google what pages exist on your website by creating a sitemap in XML format. Note that this is different from a sitemap HTML page, even though both share the same purpose of making sure the search engine sees your pages. The main difference is that your human visitors will not be viewing this XML sitemap file, where as the HTML sitemap file is geared towards human visitors and search engine bots alike.

There are several pieces of information you can tell Google about your pages, and I will only discuss the most useful portion — listing all the pages. Other information, such as frequency of page updates, is used by Google only as a suggestion, and I don’t use it myself.

To list all your pages is pretty easy, and you can easily generate that file on your own. The syntax is as follows:

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<urlset xmlns=”http://www.google.com/schemas/sitemap/0.84″>
<url>
<loc>[URL 1]</loc>
</url>
<url>
<loc>[URL 2]</loc>
</url>

</urlset>

Simply replace [URL 1], [URL 2], etc, with your own pages.

That’s it! Next, save this file as sitemap.xml. Then, you’ll want to create an account in Google to use its Webmaster Tool to inform Google about the presence of this sitemap file. This way, you can ensure that Google knows about all of your pages. Going forward, whenever you add new pages to your site, just append to the sitemap.xml file and Google will know about those pages.

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