It’s been a while since Dynamicweb CMS started supporting XML Sitemaps. However, to my knowledge there’s not that many Dynamicweb CMS customers aware of this feature. I investigated this by picking 10 – 15 different Dynamicweb CMS customers, and to my surprise only one of them had an XML Sitemap. So there’s room for improvement here. For those of you who don’t know what an XML Sitemap is, and what it does, here’s a brief explanation.
The major search engines – Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft – all support XML Sitemaps. By using an XML Sitemap, you can supply the search engines with a list of all the URLs you would like them to crawl and index. So XML Sitemaps increases the chance that the Google spider will discover your “hidden” pages, and include them into the index. The spider bots will still crawl your website, but by providing them with an XML Sitemap you help them a bit along the way.
The benefits of the XML Sitemaps include the following:
- You can improve the way the spiders crawl the website by providing metadata about the individual pages. Such as the last date the content was modified and the frequency at which the page is changed. That way, Google (and others) will learn about changes at your website more quickly.
- You can tell spiders about new pages they didn’t know about
- If you have dublicate content at certain pages, you can instruct the spiders to choose a canonical version
- Some say that just having an XML Sitemap may increase the ranking
As you can see, there are several reasons for using an XML Sitemap. So why didn’t the investigated Dynamicweb CMS websites use them?
Well, first of all, not many people know what an XML Sitemap is all about and what it does. And secondly, you need to buy the Dynamicweb Sitemap-module as well as the Dynamicweb SEO-module. So, you need two different modules in order to create the sitemap……
Third, the XML Sitemap provided by Dynamicweb CMS contains just the following structure:
<urlset> <url> <loc>http://www.bleau.dk</loc> </url> </urlset>
When in fact, it should contain this structure:
<urlset> <url> <loc>http://www.bleau.dk</loc> <lastmod>2009-09-09</lastmod> <changefreq>monthly</changefreq> <priority>0.8</priority> </url> </urlset>
So, maybe the reason for the websites not utilizing this feature is that 1) you need to buy two different modules and 2) the XML isn’t quite good enough… Or am I missing something here? Then please correct me.
There are tools out there that can help you. Some examples include:
- ROR Sitemap Generator (http://www.rorweb.com/rormap.htm)
- XML-Sitemaps.com Sitemap Generator (http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/)
- Sitemaps Pal (http://www.sitemapspal.com)
Of course, if you use one of these tools, you won’t get the benefit of Dynamicweb CMS automatically updating the XML Sitemap. You have to do that manually.