Simple SEO Sitemap WordPress Plugin for Search Engines

Not pretty to look at... but super important for your blog!

[This post is part of the Ultimate Guide to Launching a WordPress-Powered Blog series.]

I’ve already covered in depth the value of creating an effective Sitemap for your users (via WordPress) so that they can navigate your site better.

But, there is a difference between creating a Sitemap for your users and a Sitemap for search engines, and the latter being just as important!

Essentially a sitemap for search engines is a way of communicating to them about pages within your site and blog that they might not know about directly. Their robots will crawl your site to the best of their abilities but sometimes they simply “miss out” on pages that you definitely want them to know about and index!

These sitemaps are generally in an XML format (a type of text file format) and list the pages of your site and blog. Submitting one to Google (and the other search engines) is something you should definitely do!

Here is a general list of benefits:

  • Specify pages you want indexed by the search engines and also help tell the search engines which pages are more important to index higher than others.
  • Include other metadata about the types of content that you might have other than just copy, such as video, images, mobile information, news, software source code that you might be generating, and even geographical data.
  • Best for dynamic content, especially blogs!
  • Pages that might not be indexed or found through their typical process, like images, flash, and AJAX-powered pages.
  • Newer blogs will actually benefit the greatest from a sitemap since Google loves to crawl and index new sites but only if they have a lot of good interlinking URLs and structure.
  • Older sites will also benefit since some of your large archives of information may not be indexed or interlinked very well. Take advantage of a search engine Sitemap and your problems are solved!

You are essentially giving search engines a “map” to help navigate your content in the best way and it can dramatically improve the quality of a search engine bot’s “crawl” or indexing of your site than if you didn’t have one at all.

The bottom line? Get a Sitemap for search engines for your blog!

How to Add a Sitemap via Google Webmasters

I’ve covered how to setup Google Webmaster Tools in this post here and so you’ll want to start there. The next step though is adding a Sitemap, which isn’t too hard!

Very easy!

Just find it in your Site Configuration and then click the button “Submit a Sitemap”:

sitemap.xml is typically the file name

And that’s it!

Don’t have one or haven’t created one yet? I’ve got a solution for you…

Use a WordPress Plugin to Make it Simple!

If you’re using WordPress I’ve created a very simple plugin that’ll give you a Sitemap in a couple of clicks! It’s the easiest and fastest way to create one so that you can submit it to Google and the other search engines.

Just download, install, and then click the button:

It's that simple... and it should be!

What this essentially does is go as far as possible for you to streamline the sitemap generation process so that you don’t have to do much thinking. Install-and-go, no setup required!

  • Sitemap includes all posts and pages that are public.
  • Homepage is specified to update daily, posts weekly, and pages monthly each which a respective priority of 1, 0.8, and 0.6.
  • Plugin will not be used if the blog is set to private.
  • It will automatically check your blog for updated content every night for any changes.
  • Automatically notifies Google and Bing search engines of your updates!
  • Will not max out your PHP memory limit, especially if you have a really large blog with lots of content!
  • Lightweight, runs right out of the box, and super simple. Yum!

Sweet! Of course, just comment below if you need anything!

Download it Here!

777!

Please note that in some circumstances the plugin will not be able to add the sitemap.xml file because of your server and hosting permissions to create a file on your root directly – you might see an error that says:

Your server is not configured to support file-write access.

What you need to do is either create manually an empty sitemap.xml and sitemap.xml.gz file, upload it to the root of your blog’s installation and CHMOD the permissions to 777 or CHMOD your root directly to 777 to have the plugin create the file for you.

Of course, don’t forget to turn the permissions back after you’re done!

I’m here to serve you! Huge hat tip to @MoreTom, my partner in TentBlogging awesomeness!

A sitemap for search engines is worthless unless you let them in!

[This post is part of the Ultimate Guide to Launching a WordPress-Powered Blog series.]

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John

Hacker. Human.