This week I have a goal. And goal is to make sure Google, MSN and Yahoo could index all the pages on a larger client’s site.
Let’s first talk about the benefits and drawback of using sitemaps and webmaster tools. Submitting a sitemap to Google has it’s advantages . I believe there are two opportunities in which submitting your sitemap to Google.
1. When you have a very large website and want to make sure all your pages are included. Hint: You actually have to go thru the sitemap and diligently check to make sure all the pages are included. Trust me a pretty huge task for a site with 6,000 pages.
2. When you have a new website and want to make sure you pages are included in the index ASAP or at least know that Google knows they are there.
More details on why medium and small sites should not use Google sitemaps once they are included in index with an article by Randfish of SEOmoz.org
Let’s get to what I did today and how you can do that for your website
My goal was huge simply because the client has 6,000 pages on it’s site and all the free XML sitemap creators only index about 500 pages. And the ones that say they do, don’t always.
So, I started with Google which requires and XML sitemap. I visited XML sitemaps which says they are able to do 500 sitemaps but after just a few I found it stopped and did not continue to index.
Then I moved over to Sitemap Pal which was by far quicker that at last but it only returned 60 results.
And lastly I visited SiteMap Doc and it indexed all 500 of the pages reporting back with some erros, but it allowed me to manually go thru the urls and fix the mistakes. So far this is the best XML sitemap builder I have seen.
After copying the text and pasting it into a word document, save it as a .xml document and upload it to your server.
Then log into Google Webmaster Tools create a website account and add the url of your sitemap. Then you are done.
We will be exploring adding your sitemap to Yahoo’s Site Explorer shortly.