Creating a Sitemap

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A Google sitemap is an XML file that contains all the links/pages on your site. It's a great way to keep Google abreast of all your pages. It will also help your pages get indexed faster too.

I want to clarify that submitting a sitemap and getting your pages indexed/spidered does not guarantee good rankings. It will just ensure Google is aware of all your pages.

Creating a Sitemap

- If you have a WordPress blog, there are a few SEO plugins that will automatically create and submit a sitemap for you. I use the All in One SEO plugin and it works great and so does Yoast.

- If you have a Blogger blog, your sitemap is already created for you. Just create a Google Webmaster Tools account (login with your Google/Blogger details), look for the Sitemap link and follow the instructions.

- If you have a static website like this one then you'll have to manually create your sitemap or use a sitemap generator.

Google Webmaster Tools

Don't forget to create a Google Webmaster Tools account first because you will need to manually submit and verify your sitemap the very first time you submit it.

How to Submit Your Sitemap

Create and login to your Google Webmaster Tools account and select the site you want to add the sitemap for.

Now click "Sitemaps" under the Optimization Menu.

sitemaps in google webmaster tools

Now click the Add/Test Sitemap link.

Add/Test Sitemap

Next, enter the filename of your sitemap. It may be something like sitemap.xml.

Sitemap Link

If you are using a WordPress plugin to create and manage your sitemap, go to the plugin settings in the admin panel. You will be able to find the name of the sitemap there.

Finally, submit the sitemap and you are all set! Now Google has an up-to-date listing of all your pages.

You don't have to come back to resubmit your sitemap. Google will automatically recrawl it.

Bing/Yahoo Sitemaps

You will find that Bing and Yahoo will bring you significantly less traffic than Google, but it's still not a bad idea to create a Bing Webmaster Tools account and also submit a sitemap there too.

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