August 18, 2011

Creating a Google Sitemap

What is a Sitemap?

A sitemap is a document that tells search engines, like Google, which pages are part of your site. A sitemap can help you obtain information on the visibility of these pages and publicize your blog in search indexes. Google, along with several other search engines, support sitemaps. You can find more information on Google Sitemaps here.

Creating a Sitemap

To add a sitemap to your weblog, go to Settings > SEO and select Yes under Google Sitemap.

Saving your prerences will create publish your new Google sitemap. The sitemap's URL will be similar to:

Creating a Sitemap with Advanced Templates

If you are using Advanced Templates, please note that XML files are not visible in the File Manager so it is best to have a separate template to manage this file. The first step is to create a new index template with an output file name of sitemap.xml.

Below is an example of a sitemap template.

Adding Your Blog to Your Google Account

After your sitemap is created, you can add your blog to your Google Sitemap account. Sign into your account and on the Home page, enter in your site's URL in the Add Site field.

The next step is to verify that you are the owner of the site. This can be done in two ways: adding a unique meta tag to your templates or uploading an HTML file to a specific directory. Depending on how your templates are set up, it may be easier to upload the provided file to your weblog. You can find more information on this here.

The last step in this process is to add your sitemap in your Google Sitemap account. Enter in your weblog's URL, not your sitemap's URL. Once this is done, you can then enter in your sitemap's URL. To add your site, click on the "Add a Sitemap" link then choose the "General Web Sitemap" option. Finally, enter in your sitemap's URL and click on "Add Web Sitemap." You can find more information on this here.

Notifying Google of Updates to Your Sitemap

Now that your sitemap is set up, you can notify Google of updates to your sitemap by logging into your Google Sitemap account and resubmitting your sitemap. After logging into your account, click on the value representing your sitemap. From there, check the box next to your sitemap and click on "Resubmit Selection."

For more information on Google Sitemaps, please refer to Google's Webmaster Help Center.


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