Sitemap Format | How To Tips and Tricks

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Google supports several sitemap formats, described here.

All formats limit a single sitemap to 10MB (uncompressed) and 50,000 URLs. If you have a larger file or more URLs, you will have to break your list into multiple sitemaps. You can optionally create a sitemap index file (a file that points to a list of sitemaps) and submit that single index file to Google. You can submit multiple sitemaps and/or sitemap index files to Google.

Google supports the standard sitemap protocol. Google also supports XML extensions for video, images, mobile, and news resources; use these extensions to describe video files, images, and other hard-to-parse content on your site to improve how we index these resources.

Here is a very basic XML sitemap that includes the location of a single URL:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9"> 
  <url>
    <loc>http://www.example.com/foo.html</loc> 
  </url>
</urlset>

Here is a more complex sitemap that includes a single URL, as well as image and video file information for resources on that page:


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9" 
  xmlns:image="http://www.google.com/schemas/sitemap-image/1.1" 
  xmlns:video="http://www.google.com/schemas/sitemap-video/1.1">
  <url> 
    <loc>http://www.example.com/foo.html</loc> 
    <image:image>
       <image:loc>http://example.com/image.jpg</image:loc>
       <image:caption>Dogs playing poker</image:caption>
    </image:image>
    <video:video>
      <video:content_loc>
        
      </video:content_loc>
      <video:player_loc allow_embed="yes" autoplay="ap=1">
        http://www.example.com/videoplayer.swf?video=123
      </video:player_loc>
      <video:thumbnail_loc>
        http://www.example.com/thumbs/123.jpg
      </video:thumbnail_loc>
      <video:title>Grilling steaks for summer</video:title>  
      <video:description>
        Cook the perfect steak every time.
      </video:description>
    </video:video>
  </url>
</urlset>

RSS, mRSS, and Atom 1.0

If you have a blog with an RSS or Atom feed, you can submit the feed’s URL as a sitemap. Most blog software is able to create a feed for you, but recognize that this feed only provides information on recent URLs.

  • Google accepts RSS (Real Simple Syndication) 2.0 and Atom 1.0 feeds.
  • You can use an mRSS (media RSS) feed to provide Google details about video content on your site.

Text

If your sitemap includes only web page URLs, you can provide Google with a simple text file that contains one URL per line. For example:

http://www.example.com/file1.html
http://www.example.com/file2.html

Guidelines for text file sitemaps:

  • Encode your file using UTF-8 encoding.
  • Your text file should contain nothing but the list of URLs.
  • You can name the text file anything you wish, provided it has a .txt extension (for instance, sitemap.txt).

Google sites

If you’ve created and verified a site using Google Sites, Sites will automatically generate a sitemap for you. You cannot modify the sitemap, but you can submit it to Google  if you want to read the sitemap report data. Note that your sitemap might not be displayed properly if you have more than 1,000 pages in a single sub-directory.

  • If your site is hosted at Google Sites, your sitemap URL ishttp://sites.google.com/site/yoursitename/system/feeds/sitemap
  • If you created your site using Google Apps, your sitemap URL is http://sites.google.com/yourdomain/yoursitename/system/feeds/sitemap
 

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