Technical information about Google Sitemaps
Some more technical questions and answers about the Google Sitemaps program.
- What is the maximum size of a Google Sitemap? Can I combine Sitemap files?
- Can I use other files as my Google Sitemap?
- Do I have to resubmit my sitemap every time I change it?
- Can you give me an example of a Google Sitemap?
A Google Sitemap file can contain up to 50'000 URLs or reach a file size of 10MB (for the uncompressed XML file). Websites that have more URLs or require more space for the Google Sitemap file may use multiple Sitemap files and reference them from a "Sitemap-Index" file. In this case you would only submit the URL to the Sitemap-index file to Google. The GSiteCrawler will let you split Sitemap files based on user-defined parameters, if you wish to do so. It will automatically generate the Sitemap index file automatically (referencing the gzip-compressed sitemap files). (Source: Google Sitemap FAQ)
Google Sitemaps supports currently supports several file formats such as RSS, Atom and text URL listings. When using RSS or similar feeds keep in mind that the feed might not contain all URLs used in your website (feeds generally contain only the newest URLs). A Google Sitemap file should contain as many URLs from your website as possible - it often does not make sense to include all URLs in a RSS feed. Additionally, only the XML Google Sitemap format (as generated by the GSiteCrawler) contains the optional parameters such as priority, change frequency and last modification date. These settings could have an influence in the near future - I recommend that you prepare for this and use the XML sitemap format wherever possible.
Google will download your sitemap file regularly and check for updates. There is usually no need to explicitly inform Google of changes. However, if you wish for Google to test a change in a sitemap file or if you wish to inform Google of a change in your website between regular crawling intervals, you may click on the "resubmit" button in your Google Sitemaps account. If you use the GSiteCrawler to automatically update your sitemap file, it will do this for you.
A Google Sitemap file is a simple "XML" file, which is basically a text file (simplified). For an example of a Google Sitemap file, you may take a look at Googles sitemap file example. Please keep in mind that the Sitemap files generated by the GSiteCrawler use a stylesheet to display the same data in a more understandable manor (this can be turned off).