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What's the best method to build a sitemap for a website to submit to Google?


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From my experience, using Google's sitemap generator to generate a sitemap is not that good. It creates page that you do not want to show up.  I am wondering what the best method is for creating a sitemap of a website so that only certain pages of the website show up on Google?

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Hi, man5!

Here is an excerpt from http://www.lunametrics.com/blog/2012/12/13/building-ultimate-xml-sitemap/#sr=g&m=o&cp=or&ct=-tmc&st=(opu%20qspwjefe)&ts=1407985147 that might help you in finding the right sitemap generator:

"Unless you have a very small site and/or a desire to hand code the Sitemap, you’re probably going to use a Sitemap generator tool to build the Sitemap file. The generator will look out the pages in your site and list them on the Sitemap, according to XML Sitemap protocol and how you configure the generator.

There are basically two types of generators — those that crawl your site (like Googlebot does), and those that look at your site from the back-end. I find that CMS-specific back-end based generators usually make life easier. (That said, I do highly recommend running a crawler on your site from time to time to see all existing URLs, broken links, http status codes, and such.)

Sitemap generator selection criteria: Pick a generator that:

1. will generate the types of Sitemaps you need.
2. fits your needs identified in needs analysis.
3. updates dynamically. Updating static Sitemaps is usually an unnecessary and undesirable chore.
4. set the sitemap tags for individual pages and groups of pages
5. break up sitemaps into pieces however you want
6. *Bonus: find orphan pages (pages that do not have any pages linking to them)

Sitemap content:
To decide which URLs to include in your Sitemap, you need to figure which pages you want the search engines to crawl and index. Remember, we’re only going to list one URL for each page. We also will leave out pages that should be private.

Sitemap structure:
You may need multiple Sitemaps files if:

You want special sitemaps for specialized content (images, videos, etc…)
You suspect certain sections of your site are at risk for indexation shortcomings and you’ll want to analyze those sections
You have a large site (each Sitemap file can only be up to 50,000 URLs or 50MB)
When deciding how to structure Sitemap files of the same type, section the Sitemaps in terms of what is most helpful in diagnosing indexation issues. Ask yourself 2 questions:

What parts of your site are not getting indexed that should be?
What pages are not getting indexed frequently enough?"

Here is a list of sitemap generators: https://code.google.com/p/sitemap-generators/wiki/SitemapGenerators

I hope this helps. Thank you.

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Well I think you're misunderstanding the use of a sitemap.  A sitemap is used to "help" crawlers locate pages on your site, it doesn't restrict the crawlers from indexing other pages it finds that are not in the sitemap.  If you want to restrict the crawlers from indexing certain pages you would need to use a meta tag like this on whatever page you don't want indexed.

<meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow"/>

Honestly I find the google sitemap generator a great way to build a sitemap quickly.  I have recently moved to a dynamic sitemap for one of my sites.  But even that is still hard coded for parts of it simply cause there isn't a way even for php to know what pages to include in the site map unless you're going to scrape your own pages for a certain meta tag or phrase or make an array or pages to include.  Either way it still needs some hard coding of the pages you want.  The more dynamic thing that isn't "hard coded" is the ability to use a database to gather a list of say articles or products and then build the xml links based on those returned results.

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