What is sitemap.xml and how to create one?
Sitemaps help search engines to learn about the existence of webpages on particular websites and start analyzing them. The basic concept of a Sitemap is an XML file with webpages URLs and additional informaion about each URL (the date of the last update, the frequency rate of changes, the significance level in comparison to other URLs on the website) that encourages search engines to crawl the website more efficiently.
Why is a sitemap important?
Sitemaps is actually a protocol that prevents webpages getting missed by search engines during indexing which sometimes happen.This information within the document helps search engines to analyze a website. Sitemaps are an inclusion protocol, where Robots.txt files are exclusionary.
How to I easily create a XML sitemap?
Generating a website sitemap is easy. You can use many free services to help yourself. Google advices to choose xml-sitemaps.com
First, open the above-mentioned link. Here you should perform the four simple steps.
When you reach the third step of the process, the text file to your PC is ready for downloading, after which you have to to add it to your domain root document.
The relationships between Search Engines and Sitemaps
- After you have added the sitemap onto the server, adding full URLs to the sitemap is needed. After the sitemaps submition, in the future search engines will understand better the structure of the website and the conncetions inside it.
- Google: Here you should take avail of Webmaster Tools which will inform Google of the full URLs on your sitemap.
- Bing: Open the Webmaster Center. Use Windows Live for Bing to define the sitemaps.
- Yahoo: You have to You enter Yahoo! account and type the url the ‘Submit Site feed field’.
Suppose you have a webstore. There is a certain part of the website where a daily feed is added. The stock is always changing. Some inventory is sold or removed, some new inventory is added, prices might be changed. This enormous section of the website is daily updated.
Should you be including all these urls into your sitemap? The website section is so far the most frequently visited.
The reason why the situation could be confusing is the fact that Google might crawl and find an auto X, but tomorrow the auto X might be removed and replaced with an auto Y. There is the feeling that nobody control it.
The sitemap is definitely needed in the case. You should the following:
For all the products that you have already sold, try using a noindex, follow (the page should be kept alive for the a few days which givies allows Google to crawl these URLs again). Every day a sitemap should be automatically created, then pinged.
There is another solution.You can put the content in the sitemap, and once the items disappear, you can remove them from the sitemap and put up 301 redirects to either the category page or a similar page.