Fast index is the key to success of your online store and any site. The main role in this process plays Google Sitemap. So, let us review how to configure this page for Magento.
What is Sitemap
Sitemap is the simplest way to inform Search Engines about new pages of the site which are available for scanning. The simplest sitemap form is XML file in which all the addresses (URL) of a certain site are shown with a short description of this site or without it. Meta data which is used for the design of this page helps the search engines to scan the pages faster and more correctly.
As a rule, the sitemap helps to find all the internal site links and sometimes it helps to find also the external ones and it is very comfortable. You can bind several pages of the site to each other with Meta data, compute the necessary URL for indexing and many others.
The main thing you need to know about the sitemap is that its presence does not guarantee that the site will be added to top by the certain requests or the page will be indexed necessarily. But the existence of this file will become a certain tip for the search engines which will help to improve their work in your Magento webstore.
This card has become widespread in Google Search Engines, Yahoo! (since 2011 this search engine has changed the requirements to the standard card view) and Microsoft. The majority of the webmasters think that Google sitemap also helps to index the site with other search engines.
You can get to know the detailed description of the requirements to this file on the site http://www.sitemaps.org
How to create Sitemap in Magento
The main advantage of ecommerce Magento platform over other CMS is that it has the ability to create the sitemap automatically, but not with the integration of the special file in the root system. In order to do it you should go to your admin panel and find Top Menu section – Catalog. You will find a special item in this section called Google Sitemap. You should choose the Add Sitemap item there. Then you should enter the name of your Sitemap and the necessary format and it is XML in our case.
The Sitemap saving path is specified automatically, but if it is necessary you can indicate it manually. For example, you need to save the Sitemap in some subsection of the main menu. Then you need to write the following path:
Your subsection / Sitemap (Be sure to place diagonal slash).
Please check whether the chosen section is indexed. After this you should choose the Store View item and click on the Save Sitemap button.
Using such a simple algorithm you will get the automatic sitemap which will contain the links to all the categories, commodity positions and other pages of your online store. All these items can be chosen in the appropriate position. Also Magento edits your file with the sitemap itself while adding or removing any pages to/from the site. In order to configure this function you need to go to the admin panel: System – Configuration – Google Sitemap.
Tell Search Engines about Sitemap
To inform Search Engines about your Magento Sitemap you can bind it to the file called robots.txt.
You need to go to this file and edit it. You should write the following line in this file:
To register a new Sitemap you should go to the websites control panel for web-masters in Google Search Engine. If you do not want to send Magento Sitemap yourself, you can use special services or contact GoMage specialists in order to get any assistance to your questions.
Also you might be interested in Magento SEO extension which improve the search engine optimization. It's easy to use and there are no needs in any technical knowledge.