Mobile Sitemaps are a way to tell Google about pages on your site they might not otherwise discover. In its simplest terms, a XML Sitemap—usually called Sitemap, with a capital S—is a list of the pages on your website. Creating and submitting a Sitemap helps make sure that Google knows about all the pages on your site, including URLs that may not be discoverable by Google's normal crawling process. You can create a Sitemap based on the Sitemap protocol, or you can submit a text file or RSS/Atom feed as a Sitemap.
In addition, you can also use Sitemaps to provide Google with metadata about specific types of content on your site, including video, images, mobile, News, software source code, and geographical (KML). For example, a video Sitemap entry can specify the running time, category, and family-friendly status of a video; an image Sitemap entry can provide information about an image’s subject matter, type, and license. You can also use a Sitemap to provide additional information about your site, such as the date it was last updated, and how often you expect the page to change. Google recommend that you use a separate Sitemap to submit News information.
Sitemaps are particularly helpful if:
- Your site has dynamic content.
- Your site has pages that aren't easily discovered by Googlebot during the crawl process—for example, pages featuring rich AJAX or images.
- Your site is new and has few links to it. (Googlebot crawls the web by following links from one page to another, so if your site isn't well linked, it may be hard for Google to discover it.)
- Your site has a large archive of content pages that are not well linked to each other, or are not linked at all.
Google doesn't guarantee that they'll crawl or index all of your URLs. However, they use the data in your Sitemap to learn about your site's structure, which will allow them to improve their crawler schedule and do a better job crawling your site in the future. In most cases, webmasters will benefit from Sitemap submission, and in no case will you be penalized for it.
Google adheres to Sitemap Protocol 0.9 as defined by sitemaps.org. Sitemaps created for Google using Sitemap Protocol 0.9 are therefore compatible with other search engines that adopt the standards of sitemaps.org.
Creating a Mobile Sitemap
A Mobile Sitemap uses the Sitemap protocol, along with a specific tag and an additional namespace requirement. Note that the Mobile Sitemap format is changing. Google recommends that you update your Mobile Sitemaps to the format below as soon as you can.
A sample Mobile Sitemap containing a single entry is shown on http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=34648
If you plan to use a Sitemap creation tool, you should check to see that it can create Mobile Sitemaps. A Mobile Sitemap can contain only URLs that serve mobile web content. Any URLs that serve only non-mobile web content will be ignored by the Google crawling mechanisms. If you have non-mobile content, create a separate Sitemap for those URLs. If thetag is missing, your mobile URLs won't be properly crawled.
URLs serving multiple markup languages can be listed in a single Sitemap. Each Mobile Sitemap must have a unique name. If you use our Sitemap Generator to create your Mobile Sitemaps, you'll need to create a separate config file for each Mobile Sitemap.
Sitemaps currently supports and automatically detects the following markup languages:
- non-mobile (this includes most content)
- XHTML mobile profile (WAP 2.0)
- WML (WAP 1.2)
- cHTML (iMode)
For a sample Mobile Sitemap, see http://www.google.com/mobilesitemap.xml. Once you have created your Sitemap, submit it to Google just like an ordinary Sitemap.
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