At TopRank we’ve been building Google & Yahoo site maps ever since each search engine debuted the service. However, recently I’ve been focusing on how to better automate the process and optimize my time spent creating site maps. I’ve researched and tried tool after tool until I came up with one that worked well for us.
It all started at Google. Google actually lists out a bunch of third party resources. How convenient! You can see them here: http://code.google.com/sm_thirdparty.html
Ones listed under Programs/Code Snippets appear to be code that you add to your website to create your own sitemaps. What I was looking for is a program to create site maps for client sites, so those were out.
CMS and Other Plugins is a nice list of add-ons for your blogging software or content management system. These will create the sitemap automatically and are probably the easiest way to create a sitemap. However, this is only for the one site again, not what I’m looking for.
Next comes the Downloadable Tools. This is where I was hoping to find the best software, however I was disappointed. Since I have a nice G5 iMac, I stared with the two Mac applications. Both cost money, but if they work well, it would be worth it.
Rage Google Sitemap Automator crashed before doing anything. I’m not sure if it was a fluke, or if it had startup issues or if it didn’t like my OS version, but I didn’t care; I tried another.
Second was Map-IT Sitemapper. Again it costs, but I wanted to try it to see if it would be worth it. It seemed to only want to index files on my harddrive and not link out to the web. Since my willingness to ‘figure out’ software today is short, I moved on.
I also tried GSiteCrawler for the PC and it seemsed to work well and it was free. However it seemed kind of complex and I didn’t finish exploring its options.
Next came the best category, Online Generators. I tried SitemapsPal but didn’t like the little text box that I had to copy the code out of. Tried Pingoat, but I could only seem to get a few links. Out of more than a thousand pages, it only found about 12. I reported the issues to their support form and tried again. Next on my testing list was xml-sitemaps.com and I was finally very happy.
Not only does it create the sitemaps, but it creates them in xml, gz and txt formats. It works beautifully and it’s free! One downside is that it can only do up to 500 pages, but if you have more than 500 pages, hopefully you can find a plugin for your system to create the map for you. I’m very happy with xml-sitemaps.com and have since bookmarked it for future use.
There are plenty of more choices on the Google site and probably many more that Google doesn’t list. My question to you is, what do you use for creating Yahoo and Google sitemaps?