Search engine verification and sitemaps

I finally got around to verifying my websites with the Google, Yahoo! and MSN Live search engines. I’ve also setup sitemaps for my websites too. I’ve done this for the websites at work but couldn’t be arsed to do it for my own sites until today.

To find out why you want sitemap enable your sites read the Site map page at Wikipedia. In order to register your sitemaps with the major search engines you’ll need to setup accounts for Google Webmaster Tools, MSN Live Webmaster Tools and Yahoo! Site Explorer.

You’ll then need to verify your site(s) with each of the search engines, they provide details about how to do this but it typically requires that you put a meta tag in your page header. Once you’ve verified your site(s) it’s time to create a sitemap.xml.

If you have a Wordpress blog adding sitemap support is easy, just use the Google XML Sitemaps plugin. This re-builds sitemap.xml when you update posts, pages, comments etc. It also notifies all the relevant search engines that content has changed on your site. Very useful indeed. If you need to create your sitemap by hand, or better yet script its creation, then read sitemaps.org for the protocol spec.

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