Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages on their sites that are available for crawling.
How easy is it to create sitemaps and submit them today?
Google, Bing and Yahoo support the standard XML protocol for sitemaps that was agreed upon in November 2006. All the three search engines accept the following formats: XML sitemap (detailed metadata for web pages), RSS/Atom feeds as sitemaps (for blogs and media), and TXT sitemap (a text file containing a list of URLs).
Later on, the web site owners’ needs forced Google to implement specialized XML sitemaps – each for specific content type; however these are not fully supported by Yahoo! and Bing.
Let’s see which Sitemaps we can submit to each of the major search engines.
In addition to standard XML Sitemaps, Google supports specialized Sitemap extensions:
This year, Google has initiated support for a sitemap consisting of different content types. They wrote about it in their blog.
Bing supports all of the standard Sitemap files submitted as XML, RSS/Atom syndication feeds and it also recognizes the gzip format. As for content types, Bing suggests submitting mRSS Sitemaps for videos.
A few helpful tips
Web CEO Metrics
Here we are sharing the generalized numbers from our HitLens Web Analytics service. It covers 300,000+ websites from all over the world.
This November Google referred 82% of all visitors who used SEs. Yahoo referred 8% of visitors to sites, same as in November 2009. Bing’s share is rising: it referred 7% of all visitors in November 2010.
Global Search Engines (%)
You can see how visitors are being referred to websites.
Search engines gained 57% of visitor audience in November 2010 which is portrayed in the high-rise bars you see on the left of the chart. Bookmarking and linking shares are less popular than in November 2009 – they have referred 18% and 17%. The amount of people who clicked on paid advertising has increased to 5%.
Visitor Referrers (%)