Google recommendations for working with sitemaps

Google has explained how to work with sitemaps. The company published the following information: which website sections are the most important, how to use XML format, when it is better to use RSS/Atom feeds, and how to optimize those for Google.

Google has also explained the differences between XML and RSS/Atom formats. XML sitemaps are usually bigger and more informative than RSS/Atom feeds. It is preferable to use both formats for optimal crawling because XML sitemaps give Google information about all of the pages of your website, while an RSS/Atom feed describes recent changes.

Here is a summary of best practices:

  • Include only those URLs that can be fetched by Googlebot.
  • Include only canonical URLs.
  • Specify the last modification time for every URL in an XML sitemap or RSS/Atom feed.
  • - Update an XML sitemap at least once a day and inform Google about it.
  • Set a maximum possible number of URLs on each sitemap.
  • Every time a new page is added, or some substantial changes are made to an already existing one, add the modification time to an RSS/Atom feed.
  • An RSS/Atom feed should be updated regularly in order for Google not to miss the updates of your website.

RSS/Atom feed will positively influence your website promotion.

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