The Super Simple Sitemap Guideline

  • April 9th 2013
  • by Marvin Russell
The Super Simple Sitemap Guideline

This Super Simple Sitemap Guideline for your website contains or links to everything you need to know about creating a sitemap for your website. Rest assured, it follows all protocols rules and regulations according to major search engines like Google. Save this guideline, share it with others, and re-visit it any time you need to create a sitemap for a website.

REVELATION: Google and other search engines DO NOT focus on ranking the most important and relevant web sites higher in their search results. In fact, they actually focus on ranking the most important and relevant web pages higher in their search results. For example, if you did search in Google for “digital cameras”, “BestBuy.com” does not pop-up 1st in the search results. The most important and relevant web page with in BestBuy.com’s website about “digital cameras” pops up #1 in their search results.

That’s why the sitemap on your website is so important. It helps Google and other search engines find, crawl, understand, and index each web page in your website. Once Google knows about and understands each web page on your website, they can better connect their users with the most important and relevant web page on your website. From an SEO perspective, having a well developed sitemap on your website is beyond important, it’s critical. Having a well developed sitemap will dramatically increase traffic, conversions and sales on your website.

Types of Sitemaps:

Google recommends following sitemaps.org protocol, which states that there are 3 acceptable types of sitemaps.

XML Sitemaps (Sitemap.xml)

√ Most commonly used
√ Contains, URLs, content, and metadata about content
√ Great for small, medium, and large websites
√ Great for websites with dynamic content
√ No more than 50,000 URLs (otherwise create multiple sitemaps)
√ Must be smaller than 50mb (otherwise create multiple sitemaps)

RSS (2.0, Atom 0.3 or 1.0 feed)

√ Mainly for blog
√ Allows subscribers to be quickly notified about new posts
√ Allows search engines to easily find content
√ No more than 50,000 URLs (otherwise create multiple sitemaps)
√ Must be smaller than 50mb (otherwise create multiple sitemaps)

Text File (sitemap.txt)

√ Great for small, static websites (less than around 10 pages)
√ Must ONLY contain URLs to web pages (no, images, videos, etc)
√ No more than 50,000 URLs (otherwise create multiple sitemaps)
√ Must be smaller than 50mb (otherwise create multiple sitemaps)

5 Types of Content for Sitemaps

Remember, the better Google understands each web page of your website, the better Google can connect the pages of your website with people who search Google for your services, products, and other information. Sitemaps are especially important for larger websites because it can be very hard for Google to find and understand thousands of web pages on your website. A sitemap will guide them to each URL, tell search engines about each URL, and more specifically, it will describe the content on each URL.

1. Web Page URLs xml-sitemap
The most common information on a sitemap are URL’s to all of the web pages on your website. As I stated above, this will help Google find and better understand each web page so they connect you with people looking for you information, services, or products. This may seem a little redundant to what I was saying above, but I want to be very clear about what you can include in your sitemap.

2. Videos video-sitemap
Online videos are one of the most popular forms of media utilized by consumers, and the most underutilized by marketers. In fact, according to alexa.com, the 2nd largest search engine in the world is YouTube, falling behind Google of course, and just ahead of Yahoo. So, if your shooting lots of videos for your website don’t forget to tell Google about those videos using a video sitemap, or adding videos to your existing sitemap. Done properly, your videos will start appearing in Google’s search results because Google knows that people love watching videos.
Learn how to create a video sitemap
Learn how to create a video sitemap in this article from seomoz

3. Images image-sitemap
Google uses an image sitemap to help them understand and find the best images. To create an image sitemap, you can add to your existing sitemap or create a new sitemap just for images. Google recommends adding specific image tags on your most important images your image sitemap.
Learn how to create a image sitemap

4. Mobile-Friendly Web Pages mobile-sitemap
I’m going to be Captain Obvious here by saying that Mobile sitemaps are for Mobile-friendly websites only. Anything beside mobile friendly pages on that sitemap will be ignored. I would recommend using a separate mobile sitemap instead of just adding it to your existing sitemaps, otherwise things could get very messy. Either way, your mobile sitemaps need to have mobile tags on them.

Mobile sitemaps are huge for SEO. Mobile searches are growing like crazy. So of course, Google ranks mobile friendly web pages higher in their mobile search results, over non-mobile friendly websites.
Learn how to create a mobile sitemap

5. News Web Page URLs news-sitemap
Have you ever searched Google for News topics and seen a couple of articles popup at the top of the organic results? Wouldn’t you like to be listed there? Here’s how. Create a separate sitemap for your news articles to help Google discover your new articles and list them in their news search results.

news-search-results

Note these News sitemap rules from Google:

√ No URLs more than two days old
√ No more than 1,000 news article per news sitemap

Learn how to create a News sitemap

Sitemap Creation Tools:

You can manually create a sitemap for your website if you want, but the larger you website is, the more time it will take. That being said here are a few of my favorite sitemap creation tools.

1. http://code.google.com/p/sitemap-generators/wiki/SitemapGenerators
This is an excellent list of various sitemap generators based on your specific needs

2. http://code.google.com/p/googlesitemapgenerator/
“Google Sitemap Generator is a tool installed on your web server to generate the Sitemaps automatically. Unlike many other third party Sitemap generation tools, Google Sitemap Generator takes a different approach: it will monitor your web server traffic, and detect updates to your website automatically.”

√ Free
√ Installs on your server to generate sitemaps
√ Must manually filter out personal data or sensitive information

3. http://www.inspyder.com/products/SitemapCreator/Default.aspx
This tool offers a free version and an upgraded version ($39.95) that updates unlimited and can be scheduled to repeat on a weekly basis

4. http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/

√ Offers free, unlimted and an online “Pro Service”
√ Unlimited generates XML, HTML, Images, Video, news, text formatted, Mobile
√ Unlimited costs 19.99 with Images, video and news sitemaps costing $5, $5 and $10 to add
√ The Pro services also offers up to 50,000 URLS to be monitored and mapped for $19.99 monthly or annually at $13.99 a month

5. http://www.sitemapx.com/free-sitemap-generator.html
Free software that can generate all types of sitemaps for major search engines

Where should my sitemap be stored?

Sitemaps.org recommends on your server and in the root directory.

Can I have multiple sitemaps?

Yes, especially if your sitemap is larger that 10mb or has more than 50,000 URLs. Keep in mind, that is sitemaps.org’s protocol. However, they also recommend reviewing each search engines guidelines for size and length. For example, Google limits sitemaps to only 5mb, not 10mb.

If you have multiple sitemaps than you should create a Sitemap Index File. Like sitemaps, this file should contain no more than 50,000 sitemaps and be no larger than 10mb.
Learn how to create a sitemap index file

How do I submit my sitemap?

There are a few easy ways to submit your sitemap(s) or help search engines find your sitemap(s).

√ Submit through Webmaster Tools
√ List in your Robots.txt
√ Sitemap: http://example.com/sitemap_location.xml
Submit your Sitemap using an HTTP request

Conclusion

Your sitemap helps connect your website to people who are looking for your information, services, or products. So if you want more traffic, conversions, sales, revenue and profits take action by creating a sitemap or multiple sitemaps for your website. If your SEO company or “Jedi webmaster” doesn’t know how or won’t do it for you, fire them and hire The Ocean Agency. I know they will do it, because I work there.

Good luck!

  • Thank you very much., You are a good writer.
    خرید شارژ
    جلد بیمه نامه
    مدل مانتو

  • thanks for sharing.. http://seonet.mywapblog.com/

  • antonia.spellman.92

    I currently gain roughly six to eight thousand bucks /a month with an internet task i found on the internet. For anyone prepared to do easy at home tasks for few hrs /day from your home and make good income while doing it… Test this work http://chilp.it/8d93f4b

  • mary_martinez_92

    I usually benefit approximately $6000-$8000 /month with an internet task i found on the internet. So if you are ready to work basic online tasks for 2h-5h /day at your home and make valuable salary in the same time… Then this job opportunity is for you… http://korta.nu/NDe

  • sandra.vanscoy

    I currently gain around $6 thousand-$8 thousand monthly working on the internet. For everybody prepared to finish simple online task for 2-5 h /a day from your home and gain solid checks in the same time… This is ideal for you… http://korta.nu/NDe

  • dorimartinez

    1 year ago I decided to leave my office work and it changed my life… I started freelancing on-line, over a website I found online, several hrs every day, and I make much more than i did on my old work… My paycheck for last month was for 9000 dollars… Amazing thing about this is that i have more time with my family… http://chilp.it/8d93f4b

  • jenniferblackburn91

    1 year ago I left my old work and it was a best decision i made in my life… I started doing work at home, over a site I found online, several hours each day, and my income now is much bigger then it was on my office work… My last month check was for 9 thousand bucks… Superb thing about this gig is that i have more time for my family… http://chilp.it/728813e

  • tammy.jackson

    It’s been one yr since I quit my old job and that decision was a life changer for me… I started doing a job from my house, for this company I discovered online, few hrs each day, and my income now is much bigger then it was on my old job… My payment for last month was for Nine thousand dollars… Amazing thing about this job is that i have more free time for my loved ones…
    http://chilp.it/728813e