Created: 21.08.2009 18:47 Last Modified: 22.08.2009 00:55
Keywords: Bing, Google, SEO, Sitemaps, XML, Yahoo
Achieve Search Engine Optimization with Sitemaps
Sitemap is a list of pages of a web site. The purpose of a sitemap is to provide information to a crawler and to achive search engine optimization. It is recommended for new or not popular sites.
Basically a sitemap is a text file which includes links to the pages of the site. There are two file formats:
- txt file - each line is a link. Simple solution which is easy to maintain.
- XML - Extensible Markup Language is created exactly for this kind of tasks.
The Sitemaps Protocol
A set of rules defined at an XML schema.
The protocol has been developed with the collaboration of Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft.
Details are available at http://www.sitemaps.org/.
The worlds most popular search engines Google and Bing had appoved and use the Sitemaps protocol.
The webmaster can submit sitemaps to Google using the Webmasters tool.
The XML Sitemaps Protocol 0.90 provides six tags to describe an URL:
The sitemaps should be considered as hints not commands because there are no guarantees that the crawler will obey the sitemap information. A Sitemap XML file can contain up to 50 000 URLs.
- urlset - It is required and it is used as a root tag.
- url - Required tag for each entry.
- loc - Required tag for the URL of the entry.
- lastmod - Optional tag with last modified date. The format must be: YYYY-MM-DD
- changefreq - Optional tag which shows how often is the page content changed. Permitted values are: always, hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, never.
- priority - Optional tag with value of the page priority from 0.0 to 1.0. Default priority is set to 0.5.
After creation of a sitemap file the search engine should be notified for its existence. A sitemap can be submitted by:
Further Reading and Examples
Sitemaps XML format
Google Webmaster Tools
Bing Webmaster Center