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Saturday, February 14, 2009

How to Add a Google Sitemap for Blogger Blogs

Sitemap :

A Sitemap is an XML file that contains specific information about the various pages that make up your web site or blog. Various online tools use Sitemaps to collect additional information about your web site.

Google’s Webmaster Tools uses your Sitemap to collection information about how often the pages on your site change, the modified date of each page, and the relative importance of the pages. While most of the information about your site is retrieved when Google crawls your web site, a Sitemap will complement this information with the additional information provided by your Sitemap.

It is important to keep in mind, however, that submitting a Sitemap will not influence the location of your pages in Google’s results pages, nor is it a guarantee that the pages listed in your Sitemap will be indexed by Google.

Blogger Blog's Sitemap :

By default, Blogger creates to feeds for you blog: an RSS and Atom feed. As you publish a post on your blog, the two feeds are updated with the new post’s information. This is great because Google’s Webmaster Tools can accept an Atom feed as a Sitemap.

There are currently two ways that you can add a Sitemap from your Blogger blog to Google’s webmaster Tools:

  1. By clicking a link and having Blogger do it for you.
  2. Manually adding one yourself.

Let’s look at both methods, and you can choose which one you prefer.

Having Blogger Add a Sitemap

Recently Blogger provided the ability to add a Sitemap for you. You can do this by using the following steps:

  1. Login to Blogger.
  2. From you dashboard, scroll down to the bottom of the page.
  3. Under Tools and Resources, click the Webmaster Tools link.

This should add all your blogger blogs to Webmaster Tools. If you are having trouble with this method, you can try adding it manually yourself.

Adding a Sitemap Manually

Sign up with Google’s Webmaster Tools and the log in. Add your site to the tool so it is displayed on your dashboard and perform any site verification. Once this is done, you can then add a sitemap.

  1. From the Webmaster Tools dashboard, click the Add link beside your blog URL.
  2. From the type dropdown list, select Add General Web Sitemap.
  3. In the text box (beside the domain name), enter in atom.xml?redirect=false&start-index=1&max-results=50000. This will use your atom feed as your Sitemap and use the information for the first 50,000 pages listed in that file. Chances are you won’t have nearly 50,000 pages, but this is to ensure that all your pages are included.
  4. Once you have added your Sitemap location, click the Add General Web Sitemap button at the bottom.

After a little while Google will indicate if it managed to find and download your Sitemap, which you can see from your dashboard, or from the Sitemaps section with the Webmaster Tools.

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