XML Sitemap

Telling major search engines your website exists and keeping them aware of the changes on your site is key to a good search engine optimization (SEO). Whether you’re planning on launching a new site or want to increase your current site’s seo (rank in SERPs), XML Sitemap ensures search engines are kept updated on the status of links and content on your website.



What is XML sitemap usefull for ?

At Davyin Internet Solutions, we believe in an active approach to SEO and tell search engines where to find your website and index every accessible web page on it. Basically, a XML Sitemap is a file of a website that lists all accessible urls on it, written in a format that complies with XML Sitemap protocols.
For each url page listed, the protocol allows associating information such as when the page was last changed, how often a page changes and the priority of indexing a url.


In simple terms, XML Sitemap protocols provide a unified way to communicate with search engines in order to ensure:

  • Every accessible page of a website is crawled and indexed
  • Every new page url is quickly indexed
  • Search engines’ crawlers index more often frequently-updated site pages


The adoption of XML Sitemap protocols by today’s major search engines is recent and dates from 2007. Therefore it’s a new component of SEO and very few websites designed prior to this date make use of a XML Sitemap. As the first search engine to really use XML Sitemap, Google has a long experience in developing tools for SEO and offers extensive support and guidelines to XML Sitemap submission and maintenance through Google Webmaster Tools. Among major search engines, Yahoo! also supports the XML Sitemap protocol and Yahoo! Site Explorer provides similar functions for webmasters. More recently, Microsoft launched MSN Live Search Webmaster Center which allows webmasters to submit and manage a XML Sitemap on MSN Live Search.


Not all search engines allow submission of a Sitemap and it usually requires creating a webmaster’s account which also serves as analytics platform and goes along with directory submissions. Even though other search engines, such as Ask, suggest other ways for submission, we always make sure the file robots.txt has a proper configuration to provide auto-discovery instructions to any search engine crawler so the Sitemap can be found the first time it is crawled.



Should it be static or dynamic ?

Some online tools can create a static XML Sitemap which is a snapshot of the links on a website at the time the map is generated. This is usually acceptable for simple sites with limited content and not updated too often. When it comes to dynamic websites, usually based on a content management system (CMS), we use an automated XML sitemap that is automatically updated when content is changed on the website. This is absolutely necessary for large sites such as marketplace, directory, ecommerce, etc… Based on one of the leading Open Source CMS technology currently on the market, Davyin Internet Solutions is able to build high quality dynamic websites featuring an automatic XML Sitemap to ensure search engines are always kept updated on the links of your website.


Example of auto-generated XML sitemap on a dynamic website: http://www.nextstepdirectory.com/sitemap.xml


By combining XML sitemap with clean urls and online webmasters accounts we were able to improve click-throughs, search engines and users’ trust and keep track of the evolution of the traffic on the site.


Even though search engines give no guarantee as for the indexing of URLs, we believe XML Sitemap provides more control over the indexing and reporting of crawlers on your website and should therefore be considered as an important component of your website’s SEO.