Create a Google Sitemap
Create a Google Sitemap
One of the hot new website promotion tips du jour is the Google
Sitemap. This is a small XML file that sits on a website and provides
information for Googlebot when it comes to visit. Is this file useful?
What does it do? How do I create one? How do I get Google to find
it? Well, let me tell you.
Firstly, the general consensus on whether or not a Google Sitemap
is useful is that, well, the jury is still out. The official stance
from Google is that this entire program is in Beta so there are
no promises or guarantees. Perhaps by understanding what this file
is for we can infer its usefulness.
A Google Sitemap is, essentially, an XML file that contains information
on all the web pages in your site. You create this file, submit
it to Google, and Google will read it. What Google does from there
nobody really knows.
You can specify certain parameters in the file such as the location
(URL) of your web pages, when they were last modified, how often
the pages are updated, and what each page’s “priority”
Perhaps Google is relegating these Sitemap submitted results to
a secondary index where they compare the results to their live index.
This might let them know how people use (and abuse) the program.
It is my opinion that the vast majority of participants in this
program are website designers and marketers who are trying to give
their clients a teenie-weenie leg up on the competition within Google.
That’s not to say that there isn’t any value, though.
It is possible that by telling Google where all of your web pages
are you can improve your web page saturation in their index. This
may indirectly improve your rankings by getting an unlinked or deeply
linked page into the index that wasn’t previously there. But
as I mentioned earlier, it’s difficult to know if Google is
even using Sitemap information in their live index.
So now that you’ve decided that you want to create
and submit a Sitemap of your own, here’s how:
Firstly, you need to create your XML file. Don’t bother doing
it yourself. There is an excellent free online utility at
You must now submit the Sitemap to Google. Visit
and login with your Google account. Don’t have one? Don’t
worry - that’s free, too. Once you’ve logged in you
can add as many Sitemaps as you like. Don't forget - whenever you
update your website (by adding, removing or relocating web pages)
be sure to repeat this process. You won't need to resubmit your
sitemap to Google, though.
Google is also touting their Mobile Sitemap program. This one,
I believe, may be of greater significance. I believe that Google
is building an index of mobile-phone friendly websites (Mobile Web
Search Beta) and they are using these new Mobile Sitemaps as a way
to get the public to help them seed the initial directory.
The mobile web is in its infancy right now, so it wouldn’t
surprise me if creating a Mobile Sitemap gave mobile sites a significant
leg up. But again; no guarantees here – just opinion. Happy
About the Author
Robin Eldred is the
president of Apis Design, a Web Design and Promotion company located
in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Apis specializes in building and promoting
eye-catching, user-focused websites that work.