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Sitemap & Ping

I wrote this note for a friend and found that, while not totally new, the material doesn’t come up cohesively in the quick search that I did. (Not in the first 2 pages of Google results anyway, that’s how impatient we became) And so became this lame excuse of a blog post.


One way of making sure search engines are kept abreast of your site’s new content is to publish the sitemap and letting the various search engines know about it. The sitemap simply list out all pages available for search engines to index, how important each page is, and how often the information on that page changes. This “recommendation” from site publisher helps optimize search engine’s crawling practice on that site and maximize indexing efficiency.

The format of generally accepted sitemap is detailed at http://sitemaps.org/protocol.php but there are several tools that help in easily generating sitemap for your site, e.g. http://www.xml-sitemaps.com, http://www.automapit.com

However you generate your sitemap (automatically with your publishing platform [module for Drupal], manual, or with one of the above mentioned tools) the final step is to upload the sitemap to your site and let the search engines know where it is. The links for submitting sitemap to major search engines are:


Another, more active, technique for letting search engine knows of updates on your page is called “pinging”. Search engines visit your sitemap on their schedule (you can recommend that schedule using meta tags in your html header), pinging works in a different way, telling search engines of any update the moment it occurs. The most efficient way to ping search engines right now is to ping just one website, http://pingomatic.com which will then notify tens of famous search engines and blog trackers that you have new content. You can configure your publishing platform to ping Ping-O-matic automatically (with Drupal, use the ping module) every time new content is publish (the ping address is rpc.pingomatic.com ) or manually at http://pingomatic.com

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