Google XML Sitemaps LOL

What about CMSs Which Produce XML Sitemaps?

This is an extract from TWIS SEO Update 16 June 2017.

In this free thought-piece, you can read actionable insights into the thoughts of Google and how they think Most CMSs Produce XML Sitemaps. If you would like to discuss ways having great XML Sitemaps can influence your crawling and indexation and, ultimately, impact your web business, please feel free to contact me.

#SEO #XMLSitemaps #TechnicalSEO #Googlebot


Google: XML Sitemaps Produced by Most CMSs

Summary:

  • Google has stated that most CMSs have good plugins, or native implementations for producing XML Sitemaps, and don’t need third party plugins / software to create them.
  • LOL.
  • This is a classic case of Google-speak. It’s true, but only partially.
  • Most CMSs support simple XML Sitemaps. Few support complex, tweaked, or actively managed XML Sitemaps.
  • Custom built CMSs obviously have to create their own XML Sitemaps.

TWIS SEO Update 16 June 2017 XML Sitemaps

How to Create an XML Sitemap for Google:

  1. If you don’t have an XML Sitemap, you should have. Use the Basic XML Sitemaps Guide to start creating.
  2. Review your CMS and ensure you are using any inbuilt, or recommended plugin to create your basic XML Sitemap.
  3. Ensure the XML Sitemap is submitted to your Google Search Console account – see the Basic Google Search Console Guide to see how to set up.
  4. Once done, look to expand control of crawling and indexing through XML Sitemaps for new content, regularly updated content, key content
  5. Contact me if you would like help understanding indexation and the role XML Sitemaps can play in ensuring all content is indexed.

Discussion on XML Sitemaps & CMSs:

There are moments when I think the mutterings of those at Google are more likely to do harm than good. This is one of those moments.

XML Sitemaps and manipulating them is critical to the successful crawling and indexation of any large site, or any site which wants to make sure that certain content is crawled and more likely to be indexed.  The XML Sitemaps produced by most CMSs are list outputs – useful for thinking you have created something which will boost your SEO success, but in reality, a simple list output doesn’t help much.

To ensure you are telling Google which pages are important to crawl, you need to break certain URLs out into individual XML Sitemaps. You can then use the information in Google Search Console to maintain a better idea of their indexation, and in conjunction with web server logs, identify when they are crawled (and indexed).  For time sensitive content, this can be critical; for key content this can be critical, and for new content this can be very helpful.

Don’t believe the hype: most CMSs do a simple job of producing XML Sitemaps, but they don’t do a good job, or even an okay job. Think of it this way: MS FrontPage could write HTML, but would you want to publish it?

More info:

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The State of SEO Mid-2017 Released

The State of SEO Mid 2017

We recently released the super-exciting The State of SEO in mid-2017. Read it now.

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TL;DR

  • Read The State of SEO in mid-2017. It’s fun!
  • Google thinks most CMSs produce good XML Sitemaps these days.
  • They don’t.
  • You should be using XML Sitemaps to properly control crawling and indexation.

Thanks for reading. If you would like to discuss what having a decent XML Sitemap setup could mean for your web property, or would like to know how to implement them, please feel free to contact me.

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