A site map is a powerful component of a website. It may not be used by your visitors, but it can help bring visitors to your site. A site map is the first thing a search engine bot looks for when browsing your site. It tells the search engine algorithm where to find content, and how the content is structured.
Build your site map automatically with the AuditMyPC "Sitemap Generator." This free site map utility uses a powerful Java program to scan your entire site and study its link structure. It runs independently of your Web browser and can handle particularly large sites with many pages. After the site is processed, the Sitemap Generator creates the actual site map file that will be uploaded to your Web server. This file's format follows the Google conventions for site map content. The data is stored in an XML structure and contains the links and information about their contents. This utility offers many features, including the ability to customize which parts of the site should be indexed and the option to remove certain links if necessary.
Use the MakeASitemap site map generator if you need a simple, browser-based software program to create your site map. This utility is free and basic. It is a good option if your site is small and you have no need for customization of the site map file. All the pages in your site will be set to the same general information, including the "last modified" date and the "change frequency," two settings that search engines use to rank your site's content. You simply fill out a form and then the website does the rest automatically.
Install the XML Sitemaps program on your Web server if you need an innovative and independent method for frequently generating site maps. This tools is not free, but it offers features not available in most competing site map generators. If your server supports the popular PHP platform, as many do, then you simply upload the program to the website. Then you can access the program via a URL to your website and make general settings. When you run the program, it automatically uses your Web server's resources to scan the site and process the XML file for the site map. It then places the site map file in a server location that all search engine robots will recognize. If you make changes to your website, you simply run the PHP script again, and the site map is quickly updated without the need to upload a new version of the file.
- Particularly large websites will have large site maps. It can take an automated site map generator hours to scan and create the site map for these sites.
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