Why Add a Sitemap?
I'll be honest and say that I don't believe sitemaps improve your ranking in search engines. However, they do make sure more pages get indexed and that they get indexed more quickly. This article presents evidence that the difference is astounding:
- Google with a sitemap: 14 minutes
- Google without a sitemap: 1375 minutes
- Yahoo with a sitemap: 245 minutes
- Yahoo without a sitemap: 1773 minutes
Creating the Sitemap
- Step 1: Go to the Sitemaps section on Joomla.org.
- Step 2: Download one of these components: Joomap, XMap or SEF Service Map. They are all good solutions. Our how-to here will focus on XMap.
- Step 3: In your admininstrator area, go to Extensions >> Install / Uninstall and install Xmap via Joomla's installer.
- Step 4: Go to Components >> XMap. You should see a page with three tabs "Sitemaps", "CSS" and "Extensions" plus a layout like this:
- Step 5: Click "Add Menus" and select all the menus that you want search engines to find. Private menus shouldn't be included.
- Step 6: Click the "Options" tab in the top-right, then click "Preferences". A pop-up will appear.
- Step 7: You'll see a variety of different options for your sitemap. We recommend the following: "Include link to author: No" and also "Use Cache: Yes. Click Save.
Allowing Search Engines to Find Your Sitemap
- Step 8: From the XMap popup, take the URL from the "XML Sitemap" field. Copy and paste or save it into a text editor.
- Step 9: Login to your Google Webmaster Tools account: http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/
- Step 10: Click "Sitemaps" and enter the URL for your XML Sitemap. It might take several hours or evey days for Google to pick up this sitemap.
- Step 11: Go to https://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/submit and submit the same XML version of your sitemap.
- Step 11: Go back to the administrator area of your Joomla site.
- Step 13: Click "New" and choose "XMap" and save. This will create a link to the HTML version of your sitemap.