It’s common knowledge that good SEO is critical if you want Google to index your content and rank it well. You can help the search engines speed up the process by publishing an XML sitemap, which is a structured list of the URLs found on a domain. For WordPress users, the best way to do this is with a plugin such as Google XML Sitemaps. For automating the creation of XML sitemaps, it’s the best solution available to WordPress webmasters.
What Is Google XML Sitemaps?
An incredibly simple but powerful piece of software, Google XML Sitemaps creates a sitemap for your domain in just seconds. More importantly, it updates that sitemap file every time you post a new piece of content. XML sitemaps are a must for big sites with huge archives, sites dependent on rich media and sites that are fairly new. Even if that doesn’t describe your own site, every WordPress instance should have Google XML Sitemaps installed.
Features and Functionality
Like most XML sitemap generators, this plugin allows you to pick and choose the types of pages to index. It also gives you the option of pinging search engines automatically upon each update rather than waiting for Google to index new posts. Besides its built-in XSLT support, this plugin can create Google News Sitemaps and multi-domain sitemaps on the fly. Regardless of the search engines that you’re targeting with your SEO, Google XML Sitemaps gets the job done.
Setup and Real World Usage
The Google XML Sitemaps installation and customization process is fairly straightforward. Either manually download the package and copy it to your wp-content/plugins directory or use the WordPress admin panel’s search function. Head to Settings > XML-Sitemap and tap the “Click Here” button. It’ll present a dialog box where you can toggle various options on or off. For added security, put two files named “sitemap.xml” and “sitemap.xml.gz” in the root folder and point Google XML Sitemaps at them.
Why You Should Use Google XML Sitemaps
The reality is that XML sitemaps are still a key ingredient in an effective SEO regimen. Google XML Sitemaps does its job with aplomb and is the most highly rated plugin for WordPress based on user-submitted reviews. With over 9 million downloads and counting, this plugin has more than proven its worth over the years. If you run any WordPress site, there’s no reason not to install Google XML Sitemaps.