A sitemap is a file on your hosting server that lists all the pages at your website or blog. It is, in effect, a detailed “map” for search engine crawlers to find, see, and then follow as they crawl the pages at your site.

You can leave it to chance that a search engine crawler will find all the pages at your site, or a better option is to¬† create a sitemap and let the search engines know where your pages are and when you’ve updated them (i.e. ping for a new or updated page).

One of my favorite WordPress plugins for XML sitemaps is the Google XML Site Maps by Arne Brachhold.

This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com to better index your blog. It’s written by Arne Brachhold, it’s never given me a problem (i.e. stable), and I use it on all my WordPress sites and my client sites.

Features

  • Available for all WordPress versions since 1.5
  • No PHP skills or file changes needed
  • User interface to customize all parameters like priorities etc.
  • Available in many languages
  • Automatically generates automatically a sitemap for all types of WordPress pages (after an initial manual build)
  • Calculates a priority for each post, based on the number of comments
  • Notifies Google, Bing and YAHOO! and Ask.com about changes via a ping
  • Includes a WordPress filter for other plugins which can add their pages to the sitemap
  • Generates a static XML file as well as a zipped version

… and more.

You can install this directly through your WordPress Dashboard (Dashboard|Plugins|Add Plugin) or visit

http://www.arnebrachhold.de/projects/wordpress-plugins/google-xml-sitemaps-generator/

Sample Real Sitemap as found at http://www.practicalonlinemarketing.com/sitemap.xml

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