Google sitemap – what is it?
Every page on your website (should) deal with a different topic, each page or topic covering specific keywords.
For your website to display in the search results for your chosen keywords, the search engines will need to spider and index all of your available website pages. Any that are missed, are missed search phrases.
Many people feel that once their frontpage is in the search results, nothing else is required.
This isn’t true, and a sitemap will help; A sitemap includes a list of all the pages on your website.
These sitemaps are not intended for human consumption, rather they are designed specifically for the search engines to consume!
If your website is quite small you can build your sitemap manually in a matter of moments, if however you have a large website using a sitemap generator could be a wiser option.
Create Sitemap Manually
If you have some technical knowhow you can create and manage your own sitemap quite easily.
First create a file named sitemap.xml (note: the name is not important, however the file extension xml is a must!)
Edit this file in a text editor (even notepad will do for this!)
Now comes the fun bit.
Your sitemap file must begin with the following line of code :
<urlset xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:schemaLocation= "http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9 http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/ 0.9/sitemap.xsd" xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9">
Next comes the page url blocks (atleast thats what I call them!)
<url> <loc>http://www.yourdomain.name/</loc> <changefreq>daily</changefreq> <priority>1.0</priority> </url>
Add a new url block for each and every URL (page) on your website.
<loc> This is obviously for your page URL (note : it is a full rather than relative)
<changefreq> This notifies the search engine about how often this page is modified. This is optional and will not guarantee that the search engines will come back as often as you wish!
<priority> This notifies the search engines about how important you feel this page is on your website. Again this is only a guide and won't force the search engines to list a particular page.
Use the add-on! It can be found here :
Google Sitemap Generator
To submit a sitemap to Google, log into your webmaster tools account (for details on setting up a webmaster tools account, see this article)
Once logged in, go to “Site Configuration” on the left hand menu.
Then select the “Sitemaps” section. In this section you can submit your sitemap, however you will have to upload your xml file before submitting it to Google otherwise they won’t find it!