The major search engines have announced an update to the sitemaps.org protocol which enables site owners to store their XML Sitemap files in any location — even on a different domain than the one referenced in the Sitemap. This will be a welcome change for those who manage multiple domains and would like to keep all Sitemap files in one place, as well as for those who would like to store their Sitemap in a location other than the root. The only caveat? You have to be able to edit the robots.txt file of the domain the Sitemap file references. The search engines made the announcement today on the Search Engineers Q&A panel at SMX West. Below, more about how this works and how to implement it on your site. Historically, your Sitemap file had to be stored in the same location as the URLs listed in that Sitemap. For instance: http://www.example.com/sitemap.xml could include:www.example.comwww.example.com/folder1/page1.htmlwww.example.com/folder2.page1.html But it could not … [Read more...] about You Can Now Store Your XML Sitemap Files Anywhere!
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I saw an interesting question about the location, directory, the XML sitemap is placed in. Does that matter to Google, and if so how? John Mueller from Google responded that it depends.John said on Twitter it depends "on how they [the sitemap files] were discovered." He said (a) If submitted via anonymous ping, they're only valid there & lower levels and (b) If you submit them through your Search Console account, they can be valid for any verified site or part of a site.Here are the tweets: Let me show you the video embed at the start time, which was from 2017 and started at the 6:26 mark:Here is the transcript:I have a new site map for a subdirectory. Does it matter if I tell Search Console the file is in the root of the subdirectory or in the root of the entire domain? Also, how long does it usually take for Google to crawl it? It's been a few days now, and I thought Google was faster.If you have a site map file and it's in a subdirectory, then, by default, that site map file … [Read more...] about Google: Does It Matter Where Your XML Sitemap File Is Located?
Google's John Mueller confirmed on Twitter that Google may stop fetching your XML Sitemap files if the URLs within them are invalid. He said it is fine to have URLs that redirect but they should load content. If not, Google may simply start ignoring your Sitemaps.John said "We'd stop fetching sitemap files if the URLs are invalid, but if you're returning content or redirecting (which is kinda recommended), we'll keep trying them. It shouldn't cause problems, since overall sitemap files are only a tiny-tiny part of all URLs fetched from a site." So make sure the URLs in your XML Sitemap files for the most part return URLs that load content.Forum discussion at Twitter. … [Read more...] about Google May Ignore Your XML Sitemap If The URLs Are Invalid
The order of the URLs in your XML Sitemap does not matter, said Google’s John Mueller on Twitter.Save the start of the file for the most awesome URLs — the order among them doesn't matter. Ideally, that covers your whole site already, so you're all set!— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) 13. Juni 2018 The “save the start of the file for the most awesome URLs” was a bit confusing so someone asked for clarification:Yes, John – tell us more! Why put the most awesome URLs at the beginning of the file? (That can be difficult to with programmatic files generated for large sites, but also, you know that will lead to the mad dash trying to figure out how many Google considers the "start" part. 🙂— Vanessa Fox (@vanessafox) 14. Juni 2018 John Mueller then said that the order doesn’t matter at all:I see my nuance didn't make it across :). Your site should be full of most awesome URLs — the order in the sitemap … [Read more...] about Google: the order of the URLs in your XML Sitemap does not matter
One of the main benefits of combining programming and SEO skills is that you can find clever solutions that would be difficult to see if you only know SEO or programming separately.For instance, tracking the indexing of your most important pages is a crucial SEO task.If they are not being indexed, you need to know the reason and take action. The best part is that we can learn all this for free directly from Google Search Console.In the screenshot above, the XML sitemaps are grouped by page type, but the four sitemaps listed here are specifically used to track the progress of some SEO A/B tests we ran for this client.In the Index Coverage reports, we can check each sitemap, learn which specific pages are not indexed, why they are not indexed, and get a sense of how to fix them (if they can be fixed).The remainder of this post will cover how to reorganize your XML sitemaps using any criteria that can help you isolate indexing problems on pages you care about.Table of … [Read more...] about Reorganizing XML Sitemaps with Python for Fun & Profit