Sitemaps are the most important concepts of SEO optimization, as they act as road maps to your site. A sitemap allows search engine bots to navigate through different articles, categories and pages within your website. Sitemaps attract search engines and users to navigate through your website content easily, and check the necessary updates when ever necessary. Many people confuse between robots.txt file and a sitemap.xml, which are two different entities in your website. Sitemaps are the easy way of communicating search engines to index the latest information, where as robots.txt file will tell the search engines what to exclude from indexing within your website.
Changing Articles Sitemap Frequency to Monthly
People who know the importance of creating a sitemap will just go to Google, and download an awesome plugin called Google XML Sitemaps for WordPress blogs. Creating a sitemap for a website is little tricky, as many people fail to understand the initial settings inside the panel. You should know the basic principals of creating a sitemap, which I have explained at the bottom of this article. And one of the most common problem which I observe in many blogs, is its sitemap frequency and priority.
Major Issues When You Set Your Sitemap Articles Frequency to Monthly:
Many bloggers will forget to change their articles frequency from monthly to weekly, which can lead to a big disaster. Doing this will not index your articles frequently, and might block Google spiders until a month. It is very much important to update your sitemap initially, as Google checks your sitemap each and every second when you update something on your blog/website. And when your sitemap is restricting Google to index your articles to monthly, how can you expect your articles to be visible in Google the very next day? Check out the below screenshot of a blog’s sitemap, where the articles are indexed once in every month.
One of the major issues with this kind of sitemap structure, is its duplicate content. Yes! If you have updated your website with a beautiful article and forgot to change its frequency from Monthly to Weekly, a noob content scrapper or black hat copy writer will grab that article and copy paste it in his/her website on that day itself. Doing this will tell Google that your content is plagiarized, as it will be indexed just after a month he/her posted that article. This will push all your articles into disaster, and allows Google to penalize your site in future.
If you are using Google Webmaster Tools, please make sure to check your inbox messages every week. Google will send you some important updates and errors when it finds some indexing issues or problems within your site. Check the below screenshot to get a clear idea on how Google sends you indexing errors or warnings to your inbox.
The above screenshot clearly indicates that there is some issue with the sitemap of the website which it is trying to index. If you are using Google XML sitemap plugin or any other similar one, just find an option to set your sitemap frequency and priority. I personally prefer all my websites frequency to be weekly, and the priority not more than 30%. Check out few other settings which should be configured initially after installing the sitemap plugin.
Configuring Additional Pages and Post Priority:
Configuring Location of your Sitemap File:
Configuring Sitemap Content:
All the settings you have seen above are working well for my websites, to index the content properly. Configuring this way will keep Google bots to index your site as soon as you possible. Follow these below simple guidelines to keep your sitemap perfectly indexing forever. I hope this information will surely help you set up your blog sitemap instantly. Let me know if you have any queries regarding sitemaps.