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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by Alex Chris8 Comments When optimizing your website for SEO, one of your goals is to provide Google the right signals so that it can index your website better. An optimized XML sitemap is one of those signals that can lead to faster indexing and higher rankings.What is an XML Sitemap and why do you need it?In simple terms, an XML sitemap is a file that lists all important pages of your website that search engine crawlers should know about.Even if you don’t have a sitemap, they are still able to index your website but having a sitemap makes their job easier and also it gives you the opportunity to let them know about pages and parts of your website the may not discover easily.There are different kind of sitemaps, you can submit a sitemap for your posts, images and videos.When is a sitemap really important?For websites with many pages, a sitemap helps search engines discover pages that are new or updated.For websites that don’t use good internal linking practices a … [Read more...] about How to Optimize your XML Sitemap for Maximum SEO
In my first weeks at Atlassian, I was seeking for a quick-win to get a stronger foothold within the company and evangelize SEO. So, I audited our main site and noticed it didn’t have an XML sitemap. What an easy win! I went to the devs and asked them to activate it in the CMS. To my surprise, they told me that it wasn’t possible; I was baffled. After some thinking, I remembered that Screaming Frog had an XML sitemap function, so I scraped the site and uploaded the crawl as an XML sitemap. Google ate it within a few seconds, and we saw a noticeable impact on our traffic in the following days. The moral of the story is that XML sitemaps are important and sometimes underrated. What XML Sitemaps Are and Why You Need to Have One XML sitemaps are digital maps that help Google discover important pages on your site and how often they are being updated. Google states on its help center page: A sitemap tells the crawler which files you think are important in your site, and also … [Read more...] about The Best XML Sitemap Tools, Tips, and Tricks
Site maps are very important for your homepage SEO. Once you are done creating your site map, it is recommended that you submit it to Google webmasters tool so that Google can crawl your sitemaps. However, people often get confused when it comes time to decide which type of site map is better to use. Well it all depends on your website’s purpose. One of the main differences between the two is in how Google crawls the website.The RundownThe simplest explanation is that XML is primarily for the search engines while HTML is written for the users.A XML sitemap protocol is specifically intended for search engine spiders. At its root, XML is a file that includes all the behind the scenes activity on a web site. Not just the site’s main URL, but all the URLs within the site along with the associated metadata. This can include when the URL was last updated, how important it is, the average frequency changes occur, the URLs relation to the rest of the site, etc.HTML is just a … [Read more...] about The Difference between an HTML and an XML Sitemap
After much confusion and frustration from multilingual site webmasters on how to properly use the hreflang element, Google announced new functionality to allow multilingual and multinational site owners to set the rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x” link annotation using XML sitemaps. This is a much better way of implementing it than telling webmasters to add hundreds of lines of code to their pages while simultaneously telling them to reduce lines of code. Help For Multiple Language Countries There are countries like Canada, Switzerland and Belgium that have multiple national languages and/or large populations that speak different languages resulting in companies creating specific language versions for these markets. Previously, we had no way to set both a country and languages since Webmaster tool’s Geographical Settings were for countries only. For example, Switzerland we could only tell Google that the German, French and Italian versions of the site were all … [Read more...] about How To Implement The hreflang Element Using XML Sitemaps