Friday, November 17, 2006

How to Build an XML Sitemap for Google, Yahoo, and MSN

The three largest search engines, Google, Yahoo, and MSN, now support a unified method of submitting web pages to their crawlers through XML sitemaps. If you’ve found that the search engines aren’t indexing all of your web pages, this new protocol may help. The new site sums it up nicely, “Using the Sitemap protocol does not guarantee that web pages are included in search engines, but provides hints for web crawlers to do a better job of crawling your site.”

There are three basic steps in the process:
  1. Create an XML sitemap
  2. Upload the sitemap to your web site
  3. Submit the sitemap to the search engines
In this multi-post series, we'll explore each of these steps in full detail. I'll teach you How to Build an XML sitemap using a free online site map builder or downloadable site map software. I'll tell you exactly where to put the site map on your web server. Finally, I'll walk you step-by-step through submitting your XML site map to Google, Yahoo, and MSN.

It's absolutely critical that you understand and implement this important new development in search engine optimization. Be sure to refer back to this post for updates. As I post these how-to articles, I'll edit this post with links to each individual step.