We all know how important setting up an XML sitemap and uploading to Google Webmaster tools is to manage the SEO of your site.
Well, on 13th January 2009, Google announced in their blog that they are launching a new sitemap generation tool (still in Beta phase). It is a software that improves the ability of search engines to find the content of your websites.
Previously Google had recommended the Python sitemap generation tool and many other services, like G Site Crawler that offered free sitemap generation. Google’s new sitemap generator works in a different way as compared to other sitemap generators. Rather than crawling the site the new Google tool finds new and modified URLs from your webserver traffic, logfiles or files found on your server. Google says that this method of sitemap creation is a fast way of generating this information and will also include the ability to create XML, code base and mobile sitemaps, that will also ping Google’s blog search in the process. It also creates industry-standard Web Sitemaps and automatically submits them to the search engines of your choice. Once you install and configure Google Sitemap Generator on your web server, it analyzes the way that users access content, then builds Sitemap files that contain the URLs that you want search engines to find. The New sitemap generation tool works with a plugin to the server which works with both, Apache and IIS servers.
Google Sitemap Generator takes a fresh approach to Sitemap generation. The previous generation of Sitemap generators created Sitemaps by crawling websites, so they did not necessarily improve on the coverage provided by search engine crawlers. In contrast, Google Sitemap Generator monitors your web server traffic and detects updates to your site whenever a user accesses a new page. The main features of Google Sitemap Generator are:
1. Creation of Sitemaps based on web server traffic, web server logs and web server files.
2. Efficient generation of Web Sitemaps used by many search engines, and of Google-specific feeds for Mobile, Code Search, and Blog Search.
3. Easy configuration. Once you’ve completed the initial configuration, no further administration is needed. But if you do want to tweak the settings, you can use a web-based administration console.
4. Easy filtering of URLs, based on URL patterns.
5. Automatic calculation of certain metadata, such as modified time and change frequency.
6. Automatic submission of Sitemaps for Web search.
Thus, Google Sitemap Generator is a next-generation tool that relies on web server filtering rather than crawling, provides enhanced features, and supports more formats.