Where and why submit sitemaps?2
More value has been given to the ownership and authentication of domains as of late. Just a few years ago and a basic HTML sitemap would have been substantial enough to keep the search engines happy. Times have changed and with it comes the era of XML valid sitemaps. I always create a XML sitemap for clients, doing this helps the search engines identify pages within the website that perhaps have endured indexing issues.
So what do I do with my sitemap once its uploaded?
Once your shiny new sitemap is live and uploaded to your root directory of your website you need to let the big boys know where it is. Google, Yahoo and MSN all have their own form of a “webmaster console”. This console is an area where you submit your sitemap to each search engine, you will also need to add a random HTML file or add a line of Meta data to your index page – this is just a bit of protection against people trying to hack your data – it validates that you own the domain.
Once your sitemap is submitted and you have validated that you are the rightful owner of your domain you are open to a world of knowledge about your domain and its performance. Each console has varying features, undoubtedly Google offers the most (as you would expect) but each is useful in its own way.
The locations to each console can be found here:
For a more detailed explanation of sitemaps visit Google’s page: http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=34654
If you are lazy and want a sitemap created automatically then visit this site: http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/