Every time you publish a new content on your site, you may have to inform the search engines about the update. This process is accomplished when you create and submit sitemaps of your blog or website to the search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing etc.).
Sitemaps are HTML file links to the directory containing all web pages on the blog or websites.When your blog reader clicks on the sitemaps on your blog, it links him/her to all the available URLs on the blog.
They are also meant for site bots and computer programs that understand it. Search engines like Bing and Google use sitemaps to locate all the files on your website or blogs.
Note that sitemaps should not be confused with site maps. Site maps are regular web pages that humans and search bots can read. Sitemaps help search engines to properly crawl the blogs and sites.
You can submit your sitemap to Bing, Yahoo or Google, but here we will focus on Google because of its popularity.
This piece will detail a step-by-step procedure on how to create and submit sitemaps on blogger and WordPress. Are you ready?! Let’s do this!!!
If you have a blogger blog like .blogspot.com, then you won’t need this because a sitemap is already created for you. All you need do is to create a Google Webmaster Tool account, look for Sitemaps links and follow the instructions. So this is meant mainly for those who wish to manually generate sitemaps using a sitemaps generator.
» Open the Sitemap Generator and Type the full Address of your blog including http:// and ensure you add a forward slash at the end of the address as in http://infoguidenigeria.com/
» Click on the sitemap button to automatically generate the necessary text for your sitemap. Then copy the entire text to your clipboard
» When you have successfully done this, go to your Blogger dashboard and under Settings->Search Preference, then enable Custom robot.txt option (find it at the crawling and indexing part).
» Paste the clipboard text here and click save changes. Ensure to change your blog name in Blogger sitemap. After this, whenever search engines crawl your site they will access your Blogger sitemap from robot.text.
To submit the sitemap created, we do that on Google Webmaster tool by logging into its dashboard. But remember you have to create a Google Webmaster account before submitting the newly created sitemap.
Submitting the Sitemaps
» After logging in, select the site you want to add the sitemaps for. Then click on Sitemaps under the Optimization Menu
» After that click on the Add/Test Sitemap links
» Next action is to input the filename of the sitemap (with the extension name sitemap.xml)
» Lastly, submit the Sitemap and you may start celebrating now because it’s over! Google will “crawl” the sitemap again and update it.
There are several ways you can create a sitemap on WordPress, but for a simplified method, I advise you use Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin to generate your sitemap. Yoast plugin is good because it has the ability to optimize blog posts. It is also important we note that this plugin works better than standalone plugins.
Download and activate Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin It is free and takes a couple of minutes. So, copy the link to your browser and download the plugin to your computer.
By default, WordPress SEO doesn’t automatically enable XML sitemap so you have to manually turn it on, and to do that – SEO>>XML Sitemap and enable sitemap functionality.
At this point, WordPress SEO will show you a number of options that can configure your sitemaps. If you are not sure, save and continue
After this your sitemap is generated and ready to use
After this step, you may now submit your sitemaps. You may wish to ask, how do I do that? You should follow in the steps bellow:
In the Sitemap panel in Yoast to enable Sitemap functionality – choose all but exclude post types, tag pages, and category pages
Grab your sitemap links by heading over your new sitemap index page
Check the available sitemaps index and the next action is to take the links and take into Google webmaster tool
Go to Google Webmaster tool after creating an account and log in (you will need to verify your blog)
Under optimization tab, locate your sitemaps sections and click on it
Lastly, click on the red button to add your sitemap into Google Webmaster tools. A small window is opened where you can add your sitemap and the plugin will generate a code that Google understands.
Just add sitemap.xml to your URL. Now your URL becomes http://www.infoguidenigeria.com/sitemap.xml.
Click on submit Sitemap button or test your sitemap
You may also need to test and submit different .xml setup files.
After this stage, it is over and you have proudly submitted your WordPress sitemap on Google Webmaster tool.
Now Google will automatically start crawling your blog. If you have good content on your webpage, expect Google to index it. Do not submit your sitemap too many times so that it doesn’t look like spam.
This write-up clearly spells out the step-by-step on how to create and submit sitemaps on blogger and blogger. If you carefully follow them, believe me, all your challenges concerning Sitemaps over.
For newbies, please do not confuse XML sitemaps with HTML sitemaps as the latter is used to organize and arrange your webpages in HTML format so that your site visitors can easily understand it while the former is used to enable sitemaps for web crawlers.
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