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    Finding the XML sitemap - SEO Audit


    Hey, does anyone know how I can find a site's XML sitemap assuming it's not /sitemap.xml? (and no access to WMT or FTP)

    I have tried using the search query site:[sitedomain] filetype: xml but apparently this only works some of the time as only some sitemaps are indexed.

    Also, does anyone know why/how Google indexes XML sitemaps?

    Many thanks
    Rick
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    SEO Chat Genius (4000 - 4499 posts)

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    Sitemaps usually only get indexed if there is a link to it.

    If for some reason someone decided to call their XML sitemap you-will-never-find-me.xml then you will have a tough time finding it unless you have access to the site.

    An XML sitemap is just another XML document, just like an RSS feed is. Google wants to manage the worlds data so it will index anything it can find and that it is allowed to.

    For an XML document to become indexed it either needs to be linked to or have been viewed in a browser Google has access to.

    It is possible for an XML sitemap to be indexed but not submitted to Google and vice versa.

    Comments on this post

    • rickeliason agrees : Awesome! Thanks for clearing that up.
    • SEOhostingcouk agrees
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    I just have one more question about XML sitemaps that has always bugged me...

    Why do we submit them to help Google et.al. find webpages? Surely if a sitemap generator can find all the pages within a website, Google can?

    Thanks
    Rick
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  7. Jennifer Linnuste
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    Yes the SEs do disocver this on their own as well and you only submit it as a good measure to make sure that they find any URLs that may not be discoverable by their normal crawling process.
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    The main (and often over looked) reason that the XML sitemaps protocol was introduced is to tell search engines about URLs that they would otherwise not find.

    This is search generated pages or user driven content.

    For example, if you have a form and generate dynamic URLs based on that form there is no way a search engine will be able to access it, but if you log the URLs that your users use (or generate) or just create a full list of available URLs from a database then you can put them into your XML sitemap and tell the search engine about the URL.

    Most sites use XML sitemaps as a static HTML sitemap, and that is fine, but the real benefit is that you can let search engines know about URLs that can't be reached by clicking a link.

    Comments on this post

    • rickeliason agrees : Great! (Sorry no more rep to give). Are you able to give a couple of examples of when indexing user driven content would be a good thing? I am assuming we are talking beyond commenting/reviews etc?
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    I can't think of any examples of the top of my head but think anything where there are multiple drop down boxes that each have their own parameter. Lets say we have 5 drop down boxes and each one has 5 options, so that is 5^5 = 3125 possible URL combinations from this one page with the drop downs querying a database.

    domain.com/page.do?var1=value1&var2=value2&var3=value3&var4=v alue4&var5=value5

    (forget about mod_rewrite and nice clean URLs for now - its not important for this example)

    Search engines won't be able to get to those URLs, but all of the URLs could rank well for particular terms in their own right, depending on what content they deliver.

    This would be a prime example of where to use an XML sitemap.

    There are many real world examples of such cases. If I spot one any time soon I will try and remember to post it here.
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    hi
    yes google can index your pages as well as sitemap generators but species by google crawle and what your keywords themes . Soe easiest way to generated sitemap and index it google have easily crawl and index it

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