Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Google Analytics Tips: Sitemap Index Files Work Great

I was recently working on a site with 10,000,000+ unique URLs.  If you're up to speed on Sitemap guidelines from Google, you'll know that a Sitemap can only contain 50,000 URLs.  So, we had to break our 10MM unique URLs up into 200 or so smaller Sitemap files - from there, you create a sitemap index file which provides a link to each of the individual sitemap files.  Technically, this was difficult to do (ping me for more details), but I was curious how Google Webmaster tools would work:

  • Would I have to manually upload each individual Sitemap or could I just specify the Sitemap index?
  • If I just specified the sitemap index, would it let me "drill into" each individual sitemap?
The answer, as you would expect from Google, is that you can just specify the sitemap index -> from there Google will 'find' the individual sitemap files.  Each individual sitemap can be examined in the webmaster tools - and all the statistics "roll up" under the main Sitemap index.  Nice work Google!

Also, for those of you who are curious - it took a few hours for Google to parse and update statistics (# of urls, # of pages in web index etc.) for the 10MM or so entries.

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