Removing pages from your sitemap
Whether you’re removing a file or a folder, you have to follow the same process, so for this example we’re going to work with a file. In our sample website, we have a file called Port-a-John, and we’ve decided that it’s not really necessary to have a link to that page in our sitemap.
There are a couple of options for removing this file. If you only want to exclude it from this version of the sitemap but want it to show up in subsequent scans, use one of these options:
- Right-click it and select Remove Item and Subitems From Sitemap
- Go to Edit > Remove Item and Subitems From Sitemap
- Use the keyboard shortcut Del
If you want to remove the file from the sitemap now and forever—meaning it won’t show up in future scans—use one of these options:
- Right-click it and select Add to Ignore List
- Go to Edit > Add to Ignore List
- Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+L
When you’re all done weeding out the files and folders you don’t want to include in your sitemap, it’s time to modify the remaining ones.
The text in the Page column is the title text for each webpage, and it’s used as the link text on your sitemap. There are a few different ways you can change this text:
- Single-click the text you want to change
- Go to Edit > Edit Title Text
- Right-click the text and select Edit Title Text
- Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+E or F2
- Go to Edit > Properties. This opens the Page Properties window, which we’ll talk about in a second
- Right-click the item and select Properties, which also opens the Page Properties window
- Double-click the item, which is another way to open the Page Properties window
Keep in mind that any text changes you make only affect your sitemap; the title text for your webpages will not change.
Editing file or folder properties
When search engines scan your sitemap, they look at certain properties of the files and folders in your website to help determine the ranking they give the page. This includes the priority and change frequency. We’ll define these terms, and then we’ll show you how to change them in Sitemapper:
Change frequency is the frequency with which you expect to change your page content: nothing (no value), always (that is, the page changes every time it is accessed), hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, or never. This information is used by search engines when they rank your pages. If you update a page frequently, search engine spiders will return to it more often.
When you set your change frequency, be as accurate as possible. If you try to increase your ranking in search engine results by setting all your pages to a high change frequency, search engines will see right through your strategy and may give you a lower ranking.
Priority is the importance of a given page ranked on a scale of 0 to 1, with 1 being the highest, 0 being the lowest, and 0.5 being the default. Important pages should get a higher priority than less important pages. This information is used by search engines when they rank your pages. If a page has a high priority, search engine spiders will return to it more often.
When you set your page priority, be as accurate as possible. If you try to increase your ranking in search engine results by giving all your pages a high priority, search engines will see right through your strategy and may give you a lower ranking.
Now that you know what change frequency and priority are, we’ll tell you how to modify them. The process is the same for files and folders, so we’ll use a file as an example. To modify an item’s change frequency, click the value listed in the Change Frequency column. This opens a drop-down list that allows you to select the desired frequency. To change the file’s priority, click the value listed in the Priority column and select the desired priority.
Alternately, you can open the Item Properties window using one of the following methods:
- Select the file and go to Edit > Properties
- Right-click the file and select Properties
- Double-click the item
- Using the drop down list
- Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+P
Select the desired change frequency from the Change Frequency drop-down list and enter a priority in the Priority field. You can also use the checkboxes to modify default change frequencies and priorities.
When you’re done making your changes, click OK to close this window.
Adding Pages to Separate Sitemaps
HTML and XML sitemaps serve different purposes. An HTML sitemap is geared toward your users, and should include links to the most important sections of your site. An XML sitemap is designed for search engines, and should be a bit more comprehensive. To select which sitemap you would like to include a given file in, select it from the Map drop-down list.
You can choose whether to include the file in the XML sitemap, the HTML sitemap, both, or neither.
Submitting your Sitemap to the Search Engines
When you submit your sitemap to the major search engines, you ensure that the search engines know about all the pages in your website. This can help improve your ranking in search engine results. Keep in mind that this process takes time and that each search engine does this process differently. Also, submitting your sitemap doesn’t guarantee you a stellar ranking, but it can help.
Make sure you have saved your sitemap as sitemap.xml and that you have stored it in your server root folder. This means your sitemap URL will be http://www.yoursite.com/sitemap.xml. This is important! If you store your sitemap anywhere else, it won’t be valid according to sitemap standards.
Uploading your Sitemap to S-Drive
Sitemapper has not been updated for direct uploading to S-Drive. Not to worry though, we are working on this now and hope to have that addressed later this year. To place your sitemap within any S-Drive account, you simply need to upload all the files Sitemapper exported with our Direct or Free FTP program. Just connect to S-Drive and place the sitemap.xml file inside of your sites folder and you are ready to go!