Google Sitemap GeneratorDoes the average search engine have your entire website indexed?  Can search engine crawlers and bots index every page of your website?  If not, you should have a Sitemap.

A Sitemap (with a capital “S”) should not be confused with a similarly named site map or site index, which is a helpful HTML web page that has your website divided by main sections and pages within each section.   Site maps are helpful to your visitors if your website has many pages and sections.  However, more important to your SEO is your Sitemap, which is a protocol that informs search engines of every URL within your site.

What is a Sitemap?

A Sitemap is an XML file protocol that informs search engines about all the URLs on your site that are available for crawling.  It is used as a supplement, rather than a replacement, to search engine crawl engines.  Instead of waiting for crawlers to find and index every page on your website, you can submit your Sitemap Protocol to search engines and give them a “map” of your site so that crawlers have an easier time analyzing it.

The Sitemap Protocol exists in XML format and lists all available URLs on your site.  A site of any size can be included within  the XML protocol, and whether your site is 20 pages or 20,000 pages, they can all fit in the same file.

How a Sitemap Helps Your SEO and Visitors

A Sitemap is helpful in many ways to both users and to search engines: 

  • Dynamic Content – If your site has a large amount of dynamic content and URLs, then a Sitemap is helpful for crawlers to sort and index the content.

  • Large Archive – If your site has a large number of archived web pages that may not link to each other, or may not be linked at all, a Sitemap can help crawlers properly identify all of your content.

  • New Site – You may have a new website that does not have many incoming links, which play a big part in the algorithm of web crawling and indexing.  By submitting a Sitemap, you can help crawlers index your site, despite your minimal incoming links.

  • Non-crawlable Pages – Your site may also have pages containing Flash or Java that are not crawlable or discoverable by search engine bots.  A Sitemap will help correct this issue.

  • Updated Information – Sitemap Protocols also allow a webmaster to provide a search engine with additional important information about a webpage, such as when it was last updated, how frequently it is updated, and how important the page is in relation to the rest of the site.

How to Implement a Sitemap

Implementing a Sitemap is a two-step process: first, you must create the Sitemap Protocol file and then submit it to search engines. 

Setting up Your Sitemap

Sitemaps are actually very easy to create automatically using free software and resources found on the internet.  Third-party software can be found at such places as, where their free PC-based Windows software generates a Sitemap Protocol file to be used with Google or Yahoo.  By using a simple wizard setup, the  gsitecrawler software finds all available URLs on a site and places them in the proper XML format for submission to search engines.

Also available directly from Google is their new beta version of Google Sitemap Generator.  Google’s software tool is installed directly onto your web server and automatically generates a Sitemap Protocol file whenever you direct it.  The tool is also helpful in providing web traffic monitoring and detecting website updates automatically.

A warning should be made about privacy when generating Sitemap files.  When using an automatic Sitemap generator, you may have URLs that contain private user information that you do not want to share with search engine crawlers.  Therefore, it is important that you filter the information created within the file before submitting it to search engines.

Submitting Your Sitemap

Once you generate a Sitemap file, you need to inform search engines about your website.  Even if your Sitemap file can be created automatically, it still must be submitted manually to search engines. 

Submitting to search engines is an easy process if you follow their instructions.  For instance, you can submit your Sitemap Protocal  files to Google via their Webmaster Tools

Additionally, all three of the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft Live Search) have agreed on a simple uniformity in crawler discovery of Sitemap files by adding a text line in a robots.txt file that reads:


As noted, a website of any size can be boiled down into a Sitemap Protocol file.  If you are improving the SEO of your website, then a Sitemap will be another good tool for higher search engine indexing.

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