Create a Google Sitemap for your Web Site
By Herman Drost
Google Sitemaps is a simple and fast way for
your site to be constantly indexed and updated
This article will discuss the benefits of
new technology, who should use it, how it works
and how to create a Google Sitemap for your web
Benefits of having a Google Site Map
1. Speeds up the discovery and addition of your
web pages in the Google index.
2. Enables Google to quickly find web pages that
have been recently changed.
3. A method for your site to be listed and
4. Helps Google to keep search content fresh, so
have the most up to date information available.
Who should use Google Sitemaps?
All site owners can use Google sitemaps whether
you have one page or millions of pages, however
it's mostly geared towards people that make
frequent changes to their web pages.
Normally web pages on a large site will not all
get indexed because the links are too deep
within the site. By including all your pages in
the Google Sitemap you have a better chance of
them all being indexed as Google thrives on
fresh content. According to Google, it won't
increase your site's rankings.
How does it work?
Google sitemaps are created using XML
(Extensible Markup Language). This is a coding
language similar to HTML (though a little more
complex). It is often used these days in
syndicated feeds or blogs.
Here is the sample XML code you would include
for each page of your site: (replace [square
brackets] with < >)
Here is a breakdown of what each line represents:
location - name of your webpage ie
last modified - when you last modified
change frequency - tells Google how often
you modify that particular page, whether it's
never, weekly, daily, hourly, monthly or yearly.
priority - sets the priority you want
Google to place for that page on your site. You
can prioritize your pages: 0.0 being the least,
1.0 being the highest, 0.5 is in the middle.
This is only relative to your site. It will not
affect your rankings. Certain pages on your site
may have more significance than others because
updated more often ie home page, articles page.
How to Create a Dynamic Google SiteMap XML
It would take a long time to create your Google
Sitemap by hand especially if you have a site
that contains 1000s of pages.
Fortunately Google provides the Sitemap
Generator that allows you to generate a sitemap
very quickly. It's a
Python script that creates a Sitemap for your
the Sitemap Protocol. This script can create
from URL lists, web server directories, or from
You can read more about it here.
Other Sitemap Generators
Google has also compiled a list of third party
Personally I use SiteMaps Pal - the free sitemap
It's simple to use and quickly produces the
necessary XML code for your site.
Here are the steps on how to create your Sitemap
using this free Sitemap Generator:
1. Go to SiteMaps Pal
and enter your site's URL.
2. Copy the code that it generates for your site
and paste it into notepad.
3. Save the text file as sitemap.xml
4. Upload this file to the root directory (same
place as your home page) of your web server.
5. Open up a Google Site Map account and submit
your site's address.
6. Every time you modify a page or pages, login
to your Google account and click on the resubmit
7. Repeat this procedure for all of your web sites.
Google is still the largest and most accessed
search engine on the Net. Each year millions of
web sites get added to Google making your site
harder to find. Creating a Google Sitemap will
help your web
pages stay fresh in Google's index.
Herman Drost is the Certified Internet
owner and author of iSiteBuild,
Affordable Web Site Design and Web Hosting.
Subscribe to his "Marketing Tips" newsletter for
more original articles. Read more of his
in-depth articles here.
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Good one Google!
Enjoy this month's article about how to create a
Google SiteMap and remember to visit the daily
Search Engine Advice Column to check out
my answers to frequently asked search engine
questions or submit one of your own.
Till next time - wishing you high rankings...
|FAQ1: How can I get Google to update the cache on my pages?|
Thanks so much for your blog. I cannot begin to
tell you how much I have learned in the past few
My question today is there any way to get Google
to update the cache on some of my pages? If the
cache has not been updated in a year, can I
assume that Google feels the page is really
Thanks for the feedback on the blog. Now to
answer your question, don't assume anything with
Google! Just because the big G hasn't indexed
your page in a while or is showing an outdated
version, doesn't necessarily mean anything bad.
Google and other search engines move to their
own beat when it comes to collecting, sorting
and displaying updated page content.
Here are a few ways to improve your chances of
having your pages indexed and cached more
regularly by Google:
* Use a robots.txt
file with specific instructions to Googlebot
regarding pages you want indexed or avoided.
* Create and submit an XML site map to Google
* Use a reliable hosting firm to make sure
your site is live 24/7.
* Update your page content regularly (this
can be achieved easily by creating a blog or
* Improve the link popularity of your site
by acquiring one way links pointing to it from
high quality related sites and directories. This
article should help.
* Create unique, useful, humorous and timely
content that people will want to link to and
visit on a regular basis.
|FAQ2: Why doesn't my site show up in the first 20 pages of Google?|
My website, www.NoHotwire.com seems to never
show up in google's search engine. My website is
indexed by google, but it never shows up in the
first, oh, 20 pages when you search for anti
theft devices or car alarms. Can you help?
It's simple. Your site doesn't rank high because
Google doesn't see it as being more relevant
than the sites that DO show up in the first 20
If you want to be found higher, you've got to do
a better job at:
1) optimizing your site for target search
queries (I suggest taking a beginner's
course in search engine optimization). I
don't see the phrase "car alarms" within the
visible text on your home page. How can you
expect Google to consider your site relevant for
this phrase if it doesn't even appear on your
most important page?
2) manually building your site's link popularity
amongst similarly-themed sites.
3) improving and adding to your site content so
it becomes more popular and more relevant to
your target search queries.
|FAQ 3: Should we use mailto: on our web site?|
We use the mailto: direct on many pages of our
website. This is just one method by which people
can contact us (including an online enquiry form
which can be submitted etc).
However, when logging on in internet cafes (and
anywhere that personal email is not set-up on
the computer) users get an error message. We
have had such users contact us to tell them
there is a problem with our website, not
understanding that the problem is with the
Is there anyway you can change the error message
to make it more user-friendly? Alternatively, do
you think it's possible to divert mailto to our
online enquiry form in this instance?
What would you recommend?
I know it's commonly used, but in these days of
excessive spam and virus circulation, MailTo: is
not a good protocol to use on a website. It's
too easy for spambots and hackers to scour your
site and pick up your email address in their
One way to trick spambots is to use a free email
protection program like Natata
Anti-Spam Encoder which locates email
addresses on web pages and encodes them into a
format that cannot be understand by spiders or
robots but can still be readable by the web
browser and people. Unfortunately, this does not
stop humans from taking note of your email
address and manually adding you to junk mail
lists. Plus it doesn't solve your roaming user
Instead, I would recommend changing all your
mailto: links to point to your online enquiry
form. It should just be a matter of using your
code editing "find and replace" tool. You should
also make sure that the email address your
enquiry form submits to is hidden in the code (I
can see from your site that it currently is not
hidden). You can use Natata for this purpose.