Sitemap is a special file that list the web pages of a website that is accessible to search engine bot (crawlers) or real users. Sitemap tells search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo about the structure of your website, makes it easier for search engine bots (crawlers) to discover all content on your site.
Sitemap is very important for SEO (Search engine optimization), especially for big site with lots of information and fresh content.
In this tutorial, we will learn how to Create Google sitemap for a Magento site
Create Sitemap using Magento built in function
Magento has an integrated function that allows users to create sitemap within 1 click.
First, go to Magento backend > Catalog > Google Sitemap tab
Next, we insert filename for sitemap as: sitemap.xml and path to sitemap: “/”, when you are done, click on Save and Generate
Now the new sitemap for your site is created, to update the sitemap with new pages, click on Generate button in action column
Next, we will check if the sitemap is properly created by go to sitemap url: http://yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml , for example http://magentoexplorer.com/sitemap.xml
Configure Sitemap for Magento
Now we will configure the sitemap we created, in Magento backend go to System > Configuration > Google Sitemap. Here you will see option for sitemap, you can change Frequency for sitemap generation and set priority for sitemap, just select desired values and save config.
To enable auto generation for sitemap, first in Generation setting select yes for “Enable”
Next we need to make sure that Magento Cron Job is running, we need to add cron.sh first to crontab using this:
*/5 * * * * /bin/sh /absolute/path/to/magento/cron.sh
Add sitemap to Robot.txt
After creating sitemap we will add sitemap in robot.txt file to tell search engine crawlers the path to sitemap file by adding this line:
Submit sitemap to Google
To make google faster access your sitemap and craw, we should manually submit it to Google by using Google Webmastertool.
Enter file name of the sitemap we created in Step 1 and click on Submit
If you’re interested in how Magento generate sitemap, take a look at this resource http://alanstorm.com/generating_google_sitemaps_in_magento/