As part of setting up my Drupal site I installed the XML Sitemap Module. Taken from the project page: “XML Sitemap automatically creates a site map that conforms to the sitemaps.org _specification. This helps search engines keep their search results up to date_“. This is an important part of helping the search engines find my site and have an accurate list of the content on my site. Because I am on Drupal 6 I used a dev version of the module because there is not a stable release available yet. I am using the “6.x-1.x-dev” version. Installation took me a little longer than I expected because I had to create a number of accounts with different search providers to obtain the codes that the module needed. Here is a rundown of installing and configuring the module. (more detailed -albeit not entirely current- directions can be found here)
- Download the module to the sites/all/modules directory and enable on the sites/admin/build/modules page. I have enabled:
- “XML Sitemap”
- “XML Sitemap: Engines”
- “XML Sitemap: Node”
- Check to make sure permissions are set correctly at: admin/user/permissions
- Go to admin/settings/xmlsitemap and click on the “Search Engines” tab
This is where you will need to enter information for the search engines. (much of this taken from here)
You will need Verification link from Google, a Verification link and Authentication key from Yahoo and an Authentication tag and Authentication file from Windows Live.
- Google- set up your site with Google Webmaster Tools - when you set up your site Google will ask you to verify- copy the name of the html file and paste it into the form, the module will create that file and put it on the root of your site.
- Yahoo- set up your site with Yahoo Site Explorer - Yahoo will ask you how you would like to verify your site - I chose “By uploading a verification file to my site”. Copy the html file name to the form field and also paste in the Authentication key - once we save the XML Sitemap Module form you will need to go back to the Yahoo Site Explorer page and click “Ready to Authenticate”.
- Microsoft Live- You will need to go to Microsoft Webmaster and create an account. When you create a site Microsoft will ask you to verify ownership by either uploading a “LiveSearchSiteAuth.xml” file or adding a meta tage to the of your pages. In the XML sitemap module page paste the file name “LiveSearchSiteAuth.xml” into the form and paste the number between the
tags into the appropriate field. Then click on the site name in your Microsoft Webmaster Account and click validate.
- You can also enable submission to ask.com - they do not require verification.
At this point you should be all set, the module is indexing your site and submitting to the search engines. If you have enabled logging you can visit: admin/reports/dblog to see if things are working.
This is a beginning. XML Sitemap module can do so much more, submit views, provide granular submission control, submit user and terms, etc. This is meant as a starting point and a good way to become familiar with a really important module for your site. Good luck!