The method is easy and relies on a program called sed.
Sed is a text document manipulation program that is accessed via the Linux command line. Windows and Mac users without the use of sed can install Linux with VirtualBox, run a Linux LiveDisk or can install CygWin (Cygwin or CygwinX).
The instructions provided below assume you have already placed strategic links (or a linklist) on your site’s front page (its index) that point to the deeper parts of your website you wish to have mapped. The strategic links should be as close to the top of the index page as possible because computers read webpages top-to-bottom, left-to-right and the earlier your links are read the more readily they will be mapped.
You can make your life easier my using the automated sitemap-ripper utility that comes with Scriptilitious. Again, Scriptilitious can be downloaded at the bottom of this article. So, here’s how we create a sitemap using online generators and (or not) the free sitemap-ripper utility:
- Use one of the sitemap generation tools listed on page two.
- Upload the sitemap to your server. Placed it in the root directory e.g. your-domain.com/sitemap.xml
- Register the sitemap with the Google and Bing
- Place a link to the sitemap in the footer of your site’s index page for Yahoo’s benefit
- If possible, place a link to your sitemap in robots.txt by adding this line to it:
- Use My Page Rank to ping the major search engines with the details of your sitemap;
- To update the sitemap, use one of the sitemap generation tools but instead of overwriting the old sitemap with the newly created one, combine their contents. You can do this with sitemap-ripper (comes with Scriptilitous)
- Repeat step 7 then 6 every time a new sitemap is generated.
Ensure that your URLs use only one of the http:// or http://www formats. If you’re URLs are mixed then the pages could be indexed twice or thrice which could be rewarded with a search engine penalty and lower page rank due to different backlinks pointing to different pages (http:// is different to http://www.)
If the above sounds like too much of a chore, for as little as $19.99 you can get a sitemap generator that will create as many sitemaps as you need as big as you need them. It’s available from xml-sitemaps.com and provides automatic sitemap updates as well as saving you a lot of your valuable time.