Sitemap XML in Blogger for better SEO

Google started rolling out automatic sitemap for Blogger (blogspot) domain sometime last year (?).  If a blog is hosted on a blogger with blogspot URI - for e.g., www.madmadrasi.blogspot.com, then Google automatically generated a sitemap.xml file for that blog. 

Since all the major search engines use the standardized sitemap protocol, theoretically the blog automatically became visible to search engines.  Here, theoretically is the operative word because sitemaps do not guarantee that all links will be crawled by the search engines.  More to the point, even being crawled does not guarantee indexing by the search giants.  But a sitemap is arguable the easiest option to ensure a blog (or website) is at least visible or known to search engines.

Back to the point, today a reader @Rathod, commented on an earlier article on custom robots.txt, mentioning that his recommended way of utilising the automatically generated sitemap.xml is easier (perhaps better) than the way outlined.

It is a good point, provided the blog is *not* hosted with a custom domain (on blogger).  If the blog uses a custom domain name, for e.g., www.madmadrasi.net, but is hosted on the blogger platform, the auto generated sitemap.xml does not work.

The default URI for the sitemap.xml file is like www.yourblog.blogspot.com/sitemap.xml.  Thus here is a snapshot of the sitemap.xml file for the Google’s official blog.

googleblog_sitemap

Since the Google blog contains thousands of posts, the sitemap.xml file itself has pointers to other pages which lists the actual URI of the posts themselves.  Here is the snapshot of the page 1.

googleblog_sitemap_actual

OTOH if the blog has only a limited number of posts, the sitemap.xml file itself will contain the URI of the posts.  This consolidation is done by the Google (Blogger) servers, needs no manual intervention and hence is loved by bloggers.  Here is the snapshot for @Rathod’s blog, which shows the actual URI in the sitemap.xml itself.

sitemap_small_blog

However, the whole dang brilliance is dashed if the blog has a custom domain name like mine.  For one, there is no file called www.madmadrasi.net/sitemap.xml and attempting to go there will throw out a 404 error (in this case, this blog’s custom 404 page).

Then the Google (Blogger) server works in its own misguided way and actually generates a sitemap.xml file at http://www.madmadrasi.blogspot.com/sitemap.xml.  Here is the snapshot.  Note the madmadrasi.net reference in the URI.

madmadrasi_blogspot_sitemap

And we are back to square-one.  The URI’s listed inside that file refer to madmadrasi.net/sitemap.xml.  As we have seen, that page does not exist and throws up a 404 error.

Hence, as of today, the only way to inform the search engines with a sitemap is to use the custom robots.txt option in the blogger - for blogs with custom domain names.
:-(

It is a shame that Google doesn’t see it fit to implement a simple code change to enhance the sitemap feature for custom domain named blogs too.

7 comments:

  1. Gaurav Gupta26/06/2013 11:19

    Really Nice Info.i Like this xml sitemap info.
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    http://www.seobookmarks.co.in
    http://www.seobookmarks.biz

    If you want seo updates or free directory,bookmarking site list check this blog

    http://seorules4you.blogspot.com

    Thanks
    http://www.webdesigncumseo.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks so much for the blog.Thanks Again. Really Great.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nice post its very helpful..Thanks for sharing..

    ReplyDelete
  4. Punjab mobile18/12/2013 14:50

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    ReplyDelete

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