Thursday, December 11, 2008

XML Sitemap and Your Blogger Blog

Topics in this article:

What is a Sitemap?
What are the uses of a Sitemap?
How to create a Sitemap?
How to submit a Sitemap to Google?
Resubmit Sitemap to Google
Errors with your Sitemap

What is a Sitemap?

There is a type of sitemap in HTML form which lists the pages of your site and is meant to help users find the information they need. Here we are talking about XML Sitemaps (with a capital S).

What are the uses of a Sitemap?

Sitemap is a way of providing Google information about your site. By submitting a Sitemap Google will know about all the pages on your site including URLs that may not be discoverable by Google's normal crawling process.

How to submit a Sitemap to Google

When you have created and verified a site using Google Sites, they have already created a Sitemap for you. When you have a blog with an RSS or Atom feed, you submit the feed’s URL as a sitemap. Here are the steps to do it:

Add your site to Google Webmaster Tools account.
Sign into Google Webmaster Tools with your Google Account.
On the Dashboard click Verify next to the site you want.
In the Chose verification method list, select add a Meta tag.
Copy the meta tag that appears on the page.
In Google Sites, open the site you want to verify.
In the top right comer, click Site Settings.
Click Other Stuff.
In the Google Webmaster Tools verification box, paste the meta tag you copied from Webmaster Tools and click Save changes.
Type the URL to your sitemap location in the provided field.
Click Submit Sitemap.

As an example, this is my Sitemap URL: http://allaboutlivingwithlife.blogspot.com/atom.xml

Resubmit your Sitemap to Google

When your Sitemap changes, you can resubmit it to Google to let them know. You can resubmit your sitemap by using Webmaster Tools.

Errors with your Sitemap

When you submit your Sitemap for the first time the Sitemap Status will display Pending. Once Google processes the Sitemap, that status will change to either OK or to ERROR, followed by the number of errors the Sitemap contains. To view additional information on the Sitemap errors, click ERRORS. You can go to http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35738
to see a list of the errors.

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