Standard Sitemaps From Google, Yahoo and Microsoft

Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft have all agreed on a standard specification for sitemap files. Information about the new standard can be found over at sitemaps.org. If you’re not sure what a sitemap is, sitemaps.org has a nice explanation:

Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages on their sites that are available for crawling. In its simplest form, a Sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL (when it was last updated, how often it usually changes, and how important it is, relative to other URLs in the site) so that search engines can more intelligently crawl the site.


Fortunately for me, there’s really nothing I have to do to take advantage of this new spec. I’ve had a sitemap file for quite a while, and it gets updated dynamically with every new post I make. My sitemap xml file is quite large.

Joseph Scott brings up an important aspect of this new spec, pinging. Pinging basically means that when you make an update to your blog or site, you can ping Google/Yahoo/MSN to let them know you’ve made an update. That way they can crawl your site sooner to index your new content. Pretty neat.

Send Your Tag Archives To Google Sitemaps

Do you use Ultimate Tag Warrior WordPress plugin to tag your posts? What about the Google Sitemaps plugin for sending google a copy of your sitemap?

If you use Ultimate Tag Warrior, as I do, you can get archive pages based off tags. For example, my wordpress tag page shows all posts tagged with “wordpress”. Simple enough.

Now, the Google Sitemaps plugin generates a sitemap of your site for submission to Google Sitemaps. The plugin will include categories, individual posts, static pages, and archives in the sitemap file it creates. However, it leaves out tag archives. This is simply due to the fact that the Google Sitemaps plugin author probably doesn’t use Ultimate Tag Warrior.

There’s some good information contained within tag archive pages, so we should probably be letting google know about them. We basically need to make the Google Sitemaps plugin recognize and make use of the tag archives. To do this, we need the Google Sitemaps – UltimateTagWarrior Tag Addon, a plugin for WordPress. Here’s the plugin description:

This plugin is a WordPress 2.0.4 plugin that automatically adds the UltimateTagWarrior tags onto the end of the google sitemap XML file as produced by the Google Sitemap plugin.

The plugin does exactly that, and nothing more. It simply generates a sitemap for your tag pages and appends that data to the end of the sitemap file created by the Google Sitemaps plugin. That’s all that’s required to include your tag pages in your sitemap file for sending to Google.

Please note that the Google Sitemaps – UltimateTagWarrior Tag Addon plugin requires version 2.0.4 of WordPress. Hopefully the author will update the plugin to support the upcoming WordPress 2.0.5.

Google Sitemap

Google came out with a new service last week called Google Sitemap. It’s mostly a tool for webmasters. You can submit your sitemap to Google so their bot doesn’t have to crawl your pages as much. This way Google can know the entire structure of a website without having to crawl it.

What’s could be better than that? Well, a Google Sitemap generator plugin for WordPress of course. The best part of the plugin is the fact that it updates the sitemap xml file every time you change or publish a post. It also has the ability to generate a new sitemap xml file without editing or publishing a post. You can also specify a filename to save the sitemap xml file as. The official site for the plugin has a screenshot you can see. I saw this a day ago or so on Blogging Pro.