There's no reason you can't list dynamic pages on a sitemap-- unless you mean that even the URLs of pages is subject to change. I don't think you meant that.
In a conventional xml sitemap, there's a line for update frequency. You can put the appropriate information here to show how often the page changes. But google isn't obligated to crawl exactly that often. It's a combination of how often the page really changes, and how important they think the page is.
A page that changes once a year but gets zillions of daily visitors will get re-indexed much more often than yearly. A page that changes daily but only gets one or two visitors between each change will probably not get re-indexed every day.
When you say "upload to Google Analytics" do you mean "upload to Webmaster Tools"? Analytics measures your actual traffic to any page that contains tracking code, so there should be no place for a sitemap. (Disclaimer: I use a different analytics package. So if a GA user comes along and says I'm talking through my ###, they are right and I'm wrong.)
so does that mean I should put every page on my site on the sitemap. I don't change my content very often (the last time was 2 years ago). Do you think it is wise to even put a sitemap if so? I just thought of putting up a sitemap cause right now I am changing things and just want G to notice the updates...but I don't want them to eventually notice my LACK of updates later.
Is there an easier way to invite them to the specific page to tell them this has been updated?
Also is there a way to discover all the pages on my site. Honestly I really don't know how many there are exactly and am taking a wild guess.
You could run a link checker with unlimited recursion and save the result to a text file. That will tell you how many pages can be reached from the front page. Duplicates will be marked with something like "been here already" so you can globally delete them and see what's left. I keep the whole thing on my hard drive so I just ask Spotlight to tell me how many files in this directory have an .html extension, and then subtract a few for includes, error pages and so on.
People with gigantic sites probably don't keep copies on their personal hard drives. But webmasters who don't keep backups anywhere will eventually turn into very, very unhappy people ;)
Google's official reason for a sitemap is to "help us find your pages". So in theory it shouldn't be necessary at all, unless there are parts of your site that cannot be reached from the front page, but you want to be sure they get indexed. I got tired of changing mine all the time and cut it back to a couple of dozen pages: basically only the pages that connect to a deeper directory. If they've made it as far as, say, www.example.com/paintings/cats.html, then they should have no trouble finding all the pages that link directly from cats.html without any further help from me.
To draw their attention to individual pages there's a tool in GWT asking for an immediate recrawl. There's a daily and monthly quota. I don't know if the numbers are absolute-- making them pretty useless for bigger sites-- or if they depend on your total number of pages.
:: looking vaguely around for someone with a bigger site* ::
* At a rough guess, 99.8% of the readership of this forum. Maybe a little less if I count all the gallery pages.
Msg#: 4475639 posted 6:14 am on Jul 17, 2012 (gmt 0)
A xml sitemap in GWT not only helps google to find your pages, but also gives you an indication of how many of your pages are in the index.
I don't change my content very often
I have lots of pages with evergreen content and haven't seen any disadvantages by having them in the sitemap.
a way to discover all the pages on my site
Instead of a linkchecker you could also use one of the free xml sitemap generators (I use the first result in a google search for the bolded phrase). Not only do the create they sitemap for you (in different formats), but you can also edit the file before publishing. I usually have to delete urls with querystrings. If you have more than 500 pages, select different starting points (subdirectories) and merge the generated files.