Google Suggests Webmasters to Organize Sitemap Files, 'Content-Wise'!

Jun 7, 2008 | 3,472 views | by Navneet Kaushal
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Search Engine Roundtable, has reported about a unique thread that is doing rounds in Google Groups. According to the thread, a Webmaster used one Sitemap file for all his content. In the Sitemap file he specified the Geo data by using '' tags. However, the results weren't exactly, what the Webmaster thought them to be. When the Sitemap file was submitted in Google, it returned an error that stated, “Status: Invalid XML tag." Such an error was quite a surprising one as the tag given by the Webmaster was a valid tag.

Googler JohnMu had this to say regarding the Webmaster's concern, “One thing I would recommend is that you spit your URLs into separate Sitemap files based on the kind of content they're pointing to. In other words, make a single Sitemap file just for your geo-content, and a different Sitemap file for (X)HTML / web-search based content. That makes it easier for us to recognize the kind of content that you're pointing to and helps to makes sure that we route it to the appropriate group within Google.”

Here are some interesting excerpts from the Google Group thread:

Webmaster:

“I've recently added some KML and GeoRSS content to my site. So, I
followed the help listed here:

http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=94555

…and tagged the appropriate files as GEO content in my sitemap. I
have double and triple checked that my geo tags look exactly as shown
in that help. You can see my sitemap here:

http://whatstheharm.net/sitemap.xml

After resubmitting my sitemap via webmaster tools, however, I get a
warning about the GEO tags in my sitemap. The warning looks like
this:

Line: 11
Status: Invalid XML tag
This tag was not recognized. Please fix it and resubmit.

Parent tag: url
Tag: geo
Found: Jun 3, 2008

This warning repeats for each of the first few tags in my
sitemap.

Are these warnings significant, or is the webmaster tools page out of
date? “

JohnMu:

“It's cool to see more people using geo-sitemaps! One thing I would
recommend is that you spit your URLs into separate Sitemap files based
on the kind of content they're pointing to. In other words, make a
single Sitemap file just for your geo-content, and a different Sitemap
file for (X)HTML / web-search based content. That makes it easier for
us to recognize the kind of content that you're pointing to and helps
to makes sure that we route it to the appropriate group within
Google.”

Webmaster:

“I'm a little confused. thought that was the point of the
tags, to help the Googlebot sort all that stuff out?

Are you telling me that once a sitemap is discovered, it is manually
processed by someone in Google? Or are you saying there is a
different place I'm supposed to be submitting a geo-sitemap from a
regular sitemap?

Sorry to be so dense, but I thought all this was handled robotically,
and the tags were to tell the robot what to do. I see nothing in the
help that suggests that geo content should be segregated to a separate
sitemap. Maybe that would be a good thing to add.”

JohnMu:

“Yes, at the moment it's important that you keep only one kind of
Sitemap in each file. You could use a Sitemap index file to submit
them all or you could just submit them normally (via HTTP "ping"
,
robots.txt or Webmaster Tools). We obviously can't manually sort these
files out, but they still need to be analyzed and passed on to the
appropriate groups within Google so that they can process them as
required. We're currently looking at how we can best document that,
thanks for bringing it up icon smile Google Suggests Webmasters to Organize Sitemap Files, Content Wise! .

Phil, at the moment, those URLs are just placeholders for the schema
files.'

Seems to be interesting information for Webmasters and something extremely important to be kept in mind while creating Sitemaps.

4.thumbnail Google Suggests Webmasters to Organize Sitemap Files, Content Wise!

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
4.thumbnail Google Suggests Webmasters to Organize Sitemap Files, Content Wise!
4.thumbnail Google Suggests Webmasters to Organize Sitemap Files, Content Wise!