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Mechanics behind an XML Sitemap.?
How does an XML sitemap work?
The_Grunt




msg:4472153
 2:16 pm on Jul 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi guys and gals,

I am not a developer so forgive me if these come across as stupid questions.

Someone asked me lately about how exactly XML sitemaps work, as opposed to other types of sitemaps. I looked around a bit online, but couldn't find anything concrete. So, maybe you could help.

Questions asked were:

Can an XML sitemap automatically detect new web pages and add them to your XML sitemap?

My thinking, would be, no, an XML sitemap has to be manually updated? Or the new URL submitted to Google Webmaster Tools?

How exactly does an XML sitemap communicate with the website/CMS?

So I think it's how exactly does an XML sitemap work?

Submitting URLs to Webmaster Tools / Fetch Google URL

If I created a new webpage, could I use the Webmaster Tools option to submit the URL. Would it be included in some kind of a sitemap?

 

httpwebwitch




msg:4472290
 8:55 pm on Jul 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

Can an XML sitemap automatically detect new web pages


Not without help. a simple XML file isn't going to change itself. But there are server-side scripts and tools you can use to "refresh" your sitemap with new content.

Popular options include XML sitemap plugins for WordPress (and other CMS's), and PHP-based solutions that crawl a site to generate a new XML file.

How exactly does an XML sitemap communicate with the website/CMS?


If you're using a CMS, then your sitemap.xml file might be dynamically generated. In which case, adding a new page to the CMS adds it to the sitemap at the same time. A CMS that doesn't do that would be rather poor

Submitting URLs to Webmaster Tools


submit to webmaster tools, add it to sitemap.xml; those are two ways to tell Google that your URL exists. A third is to create a link to that page, then wait until the Googlebot crawls your site and follows the link.

hosting a sitemap makes it easier for the bot to find URLs

httpwebwitch




msg:4472294
 8:59 pm on Jul 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

how exactly XML sitemaps work, as opposed to other types of sitemaps


an XML sitemap is intended to be read by a machine. it's a bland uninteresting list of what URLs exist on a site so that search engine spiders & robots can index your content.

the other kind of site map is the sort that a human uses to navigate your site. It's usually rendered in HTML (not XML), contains links that can be clicked on, is organized intuitively, and might show the organization of the site as sections, categories, or some other hierarchical tidiness.

The_Grunt




msg:4472296
 9:10 pm on Jul 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

Excellent! Thanks for the replies. Yes, I should have been aware of HTML sitemaps, silly me!

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