About XML Sitemaps

SITEMAPS – Google Webmaster Tools

Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages on their sites that are available for crawling which might have not otherwise been discovered.The Google video extension of the Sitemap protocol enables you to give Google descriptive information – such as a video’s description and duration, etc. – that makes it easier for users to find a particular piece of content.  This is an excellent way to make sure Google knows about all the video content on your site, especially content that we might not otherwise discover via our usual crawling mechanisms.

An XML Sitemap is a list of pages (URL’s) on your website which Google will recognize in its normal crawling process.    Sitemaps can also provide Google with metadata about specific types of content on your site like when it was last updated, how often it changes, and how important it is relative to other URLs in the site.  Information about video, images, mobile, News and licenses can be embedded in the code.  According to Google, they don’t guarantee that all of your URL’s will get crawled, but they can use the data in your Sitemap to learn about your site’s structure, which allows for a better crawl in the future.

Sitemaps are helpful if:
1.  Your site has dynamic content
2.  Your site has pages that aren’t easily discovered by Googlebot during the crawl process – for example, pages featuring rich AJAX or images.
3.  Your site is new and has few links to it.  (Googlebot crawls the web by following links from one page to another, so if your site isn’t well linked, it may be hard for Google to discover it.)
4.  Your site has a large archive of content pages that are not well linked to each other, or are not linked at all.

One of the best ways to improve your site’s appearance in video search results is to make sure Google knows about all your rich video content.  When you submit a Sitemap to Google that includes video information in a supported format, they make the video URL searchable on Google Video.  When a user finds your video through Google, they will be linked to your website for the full playback.  Search results will contain a thumbnail image (provided by you or auto-generated by Google) of your video content as well as information like Title contained inthe Sitemap.  In addition, your video may also appear in other Google search products.

You can create a separate Sitemap listing your video content, or you can add information about your video content to your existing Sitemap.

Google adheres to Sitemap Protocol as defined by sitemaps.org.  Sitemaps created for Google using the latest Protocol are compatible with other search engines that adopt the standards of sitemaps.org.

The Sitemap must contain a minimum information for each video:  title, description, playpage URL, thumbnail(URL and the raw video URL or URL to Flash video player).

You can also submit your RSS, mRSS, and Atom 1.0 feeds as a Sitemap.

Submit your new Sitemap file to Google.  You can submit up to 500 Sitemap index files for each site in your account.

It is recommended that you place the xml folder in the root directory of your web server so it would look like http://example.com/sitemap.xml.  When you specify your site location as http://www.yoursite.com, your URL list should not contain it.

Once you have created the Sitemap file and placed it on your web server, you need to inform the search engines that support this protocol of its location.

On the Google Webmaster Tools home page, click the site you want.  Under Site Configuration, click Sitemaps.  Click Submit a Sitemap.  In the text box, complete the path to your Sitemap.  Click Submit Sitemap.

The search engine can then retrieve your Sitemap and make the URLs available to their crawlers.

Submitting your site directly to a search engine like Google is cool because you receive status information and any processing errors.

For more information about Sitemaps, visit Google Webmaster Tools.


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