A few days ago we released the latest version of Sitefinity 7.1. Among many great new features and improvements was the Sitemap Generator a tool that automates the process of generating and submitting Sitemap information to search engines.
More details on that feature a bit later. First let's start with the basics:
What is a Sitemap and how it affects SEO?
As the name implies, a Sitemap is a map of your website. There are two types of Sitemaps. The first type is meant to help your users navigate all major sections of your website more easily. It is usually visually displayed in the footer section of each website or used as reference when creating the information architecture of a website. The second kind, the one that we will talk about in this post, is a Sitemap for search engines. This Sitemap is most times in XML file format and is meant to tell the automated web crawling bots, like googlebot and bingbot, which pages they should include in their indices.
Google says that your site will get crawled even if you don’t submit a Sitemap, but they also say that by submitting it you will help their bot learn more about your structure, improve crawling schedule as well as know how often your content is updated. Every SEO expert will tell you that these three are of cardinal importance if you want your website to have a dominant share of the search results.
Here are some of the cases when, according to Google, submitting a Sitemap is helpful:
- Taken from Google Webmaster tools documentation
- Your site has dynamic content.
- Your site has pages that aren't easily discovered by Googlebot during the crawl process—for example, pages featuring rich AJAX or images.
- Your site is new and has few links to it. (Googlebot crawls the web by following links from one page to another, so if your site isn't well linked, it may be hard for us to discover it.)
- Your site has a large archive of content pages that are not well linked to each other, or are not linked at all.
How can the new Sitefinity Sitemap Generator make your life easier?
As I said in the beginning the Sitefinity XML Sitemap Generator automates the process of keeping search engines informed about new content and site structure changes and ensures all the right information is crawled and searchable soon after site updates. Thus ensuring that search engines can better match their crawling process to your publishing patterns. Let's take a closer look:
Automatic Sitemap generation and submission
Generating a sitemap manually and submitting it is not a complicated thing. However, making sure you do it correctly and consistently isn't always easy.
The Sitefinity Sitemap Generator can automatically generate and submit a sitemap of your website on a daily or weekly basis. The automatic submission makes sure that the search engines always have the up to date information about your website. This is especially important for websites that publish new content regularly as the automation allows you to make sure crawling bots are immediately informed and all new content gets indexed and surfaced on the search results pages as soon as possible.
We have made sure that the generated sitemap is compatible with Sitemaps.org schema that is compatible with most search engines.
Automatic splitting into multiple Sitemap files
The limit for the size of your XML file in terms of URLs it holds is 50,000. However, if you have more than 50,000 URLs you can split them into multiple files and submit them as a group.
The Sitefinity Sitemap Generator helps you automatically create a new XML file once the limit of the current file is reached. This saves you the effort of working with multiple XML files and making sure each one is kept up to date and submitted.
Тhese are just some of the functionalities of the Sitefinity Sitemap Generator. You can find more details in the Sitefinity documentation.
And if you still haven't tried the new version of Sitefinity I recommend you create 30-day free trial and take it for a spin.