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Camino Sitemap Management and Submission

KB202 Last reviewed 12 September 2014

Introduction

This article provides notes and guidance on the use of sitemaps in Camino. This includes sitemap generation and submission to search engines and the various manual management techniques available.

What is a sitemap?

A sitemap is a list of website pages accessible to web search engines and users. It may take the form of a normal web page, but is more commonly presented as an XML file that is easily read by search engines like Google and Bing.

Once a sitemap has been generated, search engines must be made aware of its' existence. This may done either using individual search engine webmaster tools or via a direct ping. Irrespective of the approach, submitting a sitemap does not guarantee your site will be indexed by a search engine.

How does Camino handle sitemaps

In most Camino sites, the generation and submission of sitemaps is automated and requires no intervention from site administrators. This is accomplished through two scheduled tasks:

  • Generate Sitemap - Daily at 01:00
  • Ping Sitemap - Daily at 01:15

Sitemap Generation

Camino does not update any existing sitemap - it completely regenerates it. Any content item that is published and is accessible by guest users (i.e. accessible without the need to login) will be included in the sitemap.

As well as the name and address (Url) of a content item, there are two additional properties included for each item in the sitemap: priority and frequency. For many modules, it is possible to manually specify value for either, but if no manual value is supplied, the following rules apply:

  • Sitemap Priority - This will be automatically calculated based upon the position of the item within the item hierarchy
  • Sitemap Frequency - The default setting for the parent module will be used.

There is only one exception to the above rules for the site's homepage. This will always have a priority of 1.0 (i.e most important) and a frequency of Always.

The generated sitemap is called sitemap.xml and is located in the root of the Camino site.

Sitemap Pinging

At present, Camino will automatically ping Google and Bing (and by extension, Yahoo) with details of the sitemap's location. To avoid search engines potentially viewing a Camino site as sitemap "spammer", the ping operation only occurs if there has been any changes to the sitemap since the last successful ping.

No Scheduled Tasks

In circumstances where scheduled tasks are not available, it is possible to manually generate and ping sitemaps. Instructions on how to perform both tasks are described below.

Manually Generating the Sitemap

In most sites, the sitemap will automatically be re-generated every day. To manually regenerate the sitemap, follow these steps:

  1. Log into Camino Administrator
  2. From the left-hand menu, click on Pages (Camino Starter users should click on Pages (Starter Edition)
  3. From the module (top) menu, select Settings
  4. In the Rebuild Sitemap box, click on the Rebuild XML Sitemap button
  5. If your site has has hundreds of content items, the rebuild may take upto a minute to complete.

The above steps only rebuild the sitemap. They do not notify or ping search engines to notify them of a new sitemap. To ping the sitemap, see the next section.

Pinging Sitemaps

Pinging your sitemap is the process whereby Camino notifies the various search engines (Google & Bing) of the latest version of your sitemap. In most sites, pinging is handled by a scheduled task, but it may be manually invoked.

To ping your sitemap, follow these steps.

  1. Log into Camino Administrator
  2. From the left-hand menu, click on Pages (Camino Starter users should click on Pages (Starter Edition)
  3. From the module (top) menu, select Settings
  4. In the Rebuild Sitemap box, click on the Ping Sitemap button
  5. The ping operation should only take a few seconds to complete
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