Ok, I am convinced. I should put a sitemap on my blogger site. But, what steps do I take to add a sitemap?
First, I better define a sitemap. It is simply a map of your website and lists of all your sections and pages. A sitemap speeds up the indexing of your pages in Google and can help viewers find their way around your site. There are three basic types of sitemaps. So, what kind of sitemap should I use? It depends what you intend to do with your sitemap. You may also use more than one kind of sitemap on your site.
First, there is the traditional HTML which is useful in utilising your Link Text. This makes it easier for human visitors to navigate the site.
Second, there is the XML Sitemap which is utilised by Google’s search engine. Google’s sitemaps contain URLs and indexing information. This information is read by a Spider and the information is indexed. The number of URLs in a sitemap is limited to fifty thousand. A second kind of google sitemap, the Google Sitemap Index File, indexes the sitemaps. The index file may index up to one thousand sitemaps.
Third, there is the ROR sitemap which is similar to the XML format which is used for describing any element on your website such as products, services, images, reviews, etc. It can be used for all search engines including google.
WordPress provides blogs with a sitemap plugin. When you update your site, you do not have to worry about updating your sitemap. The plugin updates your sitemap instantly and alerts Google to the change in your site.
What if you want a Google sitemap for your blog on Blogger?
Unlike WordPress, Blogger does not offer a way to get a sitemap. Although, Google provides a Sitemap Generator that creates sitemaps from URL lists, web server directories, or from access logs. Google only allows you to submit your blog site, but does not allow you to generate a sitemap for your Blogger account. However, there is a way to get around that.
First, log into Google Webmaster Tools with your google account. Paste the URL of your blog in the add site option. When you click on the “Ok” button, your site will be added to your account.
Second, you will need to verify your blog. With Blogger, you need to choose “Add a META tag” from the drop down menu. Code will be generated for you. Highlight the code and copy it.
Third, go to your blogger account and click on template. Paste the META tag code under the first “head” and save the template changes. Next, click on the “Republish” button.
Fourth, go to the Google webmaster tools account and go back to the “Verify site ownership” and check the”I’ve added the META tag in the home page of…” Then, click the “verify” button.
Now you have added your site to the sitemap account and have verified it. Next, you need to add the sitemap url. Since Google will not allow you to add a text file or anything else, you will need to add your site feed (ATOM) as a site map.
Fifth, clink on “submit a sitemap” which will take you to “add sitemap”. Next select the type saying “Add General Web Sitemap”
Although, I have the newer beta version of Blogger, only atom.xml worked for me. It may be different for you.
Last, you will get a confirmation and your blog will now be indexed.
Once you set up your sitemap, it is all set until you make updates to your site. Then you will have to make updates to your sitemap. Google makes this it easy to do. Everytime you make a change, log into your Google account and click on the resubmit button.