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What is a Sitemap and How to Create a Sitemap

What is a sitemap and why is it so important? A site map is one page or sometimes a set of pages, which lists all, or most of the pages on a web site. Creating and submitting a sitemap helps make sure that Google knows about all the pages on your site, including URLs that may not be discoverable by Google's normal crawling process. It can be either a document in any form used as a planning tool for Web design, or a Web page that lists the pages on a Web site, typically organized in hierarchical fashion. This helps visitors and search engine bots find pages on the site. Let’s see what Google says:”Google doesn't guarantee that we'll crawl or index all of your URLs. However, we use the data in your Sitemap to learn about your site's structure, which will allow us to improve our crawler schedule and do a better job crawling your site in the future. In most cases, webmasters will benefit from Sitemap submission, and in no case will you be penalized for it.” How to Create a Sitemap Manually? In 2005 Google started its own sitemaps protocol based on XML which was called Google Sitemaps. Google later convinced more search engines to follow and the standard was renamed to XML sitemaps protocol. Currently Google, Yahoo, Microsoft MSN Search, Ask, IBM and possibly more supports XML sitemaps. It is likely that more search engines will implement support for XML sitemaps. The beauty of this protocol is how easy it is to build. There is only one required field the location of the URL you're defining. All additional information is optional. Let’s see a simple example of Xml sitemap and each tag definition: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> ---- This is an XML document, so you need to start it with an XML declaration <urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9"> ----- if you want to write a sitemap without validating it against the sitemap schema <url> ---holds all the information about each page in your document

<loc>http://www.example.com/</loc> ----- a URI of a page you want the search engines to spider <lastmod>2012-07-26</lastmod> ----- Modified Date (should be in the W3C

Datetime format: YYYY-MM-DD or YYYY-MM-DDThh:mmTZD) <changefreq>monthly</changefreq> ----- Modification frequency (a suggestion rather than a command to search engines about how often to spider your site) Valid values for this field are: always These change every time they are accessed. never This describes URLs that have been archived. daily weekly monthly yearly <priority>0.8</priority> ----- The page priority (This is the priority of the page relative to other documents on the site. It is a number from 0.0 to 1.0. The default value is 0.5.) I recommend leaving the priority alone except for pages like your home page (Priority 1.0) or pages that aren't ready for full promotion (Priority 0.1) </url> And the second page url: <url> <loc>http://www.example.com/?id=what</loc> <lastmod>2012-07-26</lastmod> <changefreq>monthly</changefreq> <priority>0.5</priority> </url> And the third page url: <url> <loc>http://www.example.com/?id=how</loc> <lastmod>2012-07-26</lastmod> <changefreq>monthly</changefreq> <priority>0.5</priority> </url> … </urlset> ----- The end tag

That is all. If your site contains hundreds and thousands of pages, manually crating a

sitemap is too time-consuming, an automated tool is thus needed which you can choose from many free tools on the internet. As for me, I use SitemapX which is a totally free tool and can create 4 types of sitemaps including xml, html, gz and txt sitemap with no page volume limited. Hope this page can help you.