Top 5 WordPress Plug-in for Internet Marketing – Google XML Sitemaps
Are you familiar with Google Webmaster Tool? If you are not, please take time to register Google Webmaster Tool first. Why ? Because it’s the valuable tool that will show you how Google crawls and indexes your site. By simply registering your domain, you can notify Google to start indexing your new website. You can maintain multiple websites as many as you want. It’s free. Also, It will show you the errors occurred while crawling, so you can easily find out why your site is not being indexed.
Now before you submit your website, it is important to generate sitemap. The Sitemaps protocol allows a webmaster to inform search engines (not only Google) about URLs on a website that are available for crawling. It is made of XML file listing all the files in your website indicating their importance (priority) and change frequency.
Here is a sample Sitemap XML file.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <urlset xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9 http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9/sitemap.xsd" xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9"> <url> <loc>http://wpmarketing.org/</loc> <lastmod>2009-10-13T12:28:17+00:00</lastmod> <changefreq>daily</changefreq> <priority>1.0</priority> </url> <url> <loc>http://wpmarketing.org/privacy-policy/</loc> <lastmod>2009-10-14T04:40:51+00:00</lastmod> <changefreq>weekly</changefreq> <priority>0.6</priority> </url> <url> <loc>http://wpmarketing.org/2009/10/top-5-wordpress-plug-in-for-internet-marketing-all-in-one-seo-pack/</loc> <lastmod>2009-10-13T12:28:17+00:00</lastmod> <changefreq>monthly</changefreq> <priority>0.4</priority> </url> <url> <loc>http://wpmarketing.org/2009/08/fighting-adblock/</loc> <lastmod>2009-10-13T04:58:18+00:00</lastmod> <changefreq>monthly</changefreq> <priority>0.2</priority> </url> <!-- cutting off . It's too long to show here --> <url> <loc>http://wpmarketing.org/about/</loc> <lastmod>2009-08-05T12:08:20+00:00</lastmod> <changefreq>weekly</changefreq> <priority>0.6</priority> </url> </urlset>
Basically, it is not that difficult to create the file, but tedious and lots of labor may be involved if done by hand manually. Especially for the blog site with frequent article posting, you will need a plug-in for that which would update the Sitemap automatically. So here is Google XML Sitemaps plug-in.
Basically his plug-in will create a XML-Sitemap of your WordPress blog. It will include all the WordPress pages and posts and even external pages that you defined. The sitemap is automatically updated whenever you modify any page or post, so it’s just convenient. It also notifies Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Ask.com automatically. You can’t ask for more.
It works pretty well right after the activation, but it is possible that you may need to create a file named sitemap.xml and/or sitemap.xml.gz in your WordPress root path and make them writable by webserver (If you are using Hosting providers with up-to-date system, you wouldn’t have problem). And the default settings are good enough so you should not do anything else. But if you want to rebuild the sitemap, click on the ‘rebuild the sitemap manually’ link marked with Red box in the above image.
By default, Google XML sitemaps is automatically calculate the priority of each posts using the comment count of the posts. If you want to custom define the priority, you can select ‘Do not use automatic priority calculation’ option in the ‘Post Priority’ group box.
Then you can use Priorities group box to specify custom priorities.
You can easily check the sitemap by adding ‘sitemap.xml’ at the end of your WordPress URL. For example , http://wpmarketing.org/sitemap.xml . Here is the output.
Now that you have the sitemap ready, you can go to your Google Webmaster Tool account and add your sitemap.
One extra feature would be nice – To be able to define priority per post and page. I hope the author is planning to add this feature soon.
Next plug-in will be about Plug-in for Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a free web statistics application provided Google.
Thank you for visiting wpmarketing.org
* Google XML Sitemaps Website : http://www.arnebrachhold.de/projects/wordpress-plugins/google-xml-sitemaps-generator/
* References: List of other Sitemap generator tools (Not just for WordPress): http://code.google.com/p/sitemap-generators/wiki/SitemapGenerators