Happy Holidays from your friends at Word Wizards! This late December blog post is dedicated to telling the story of an attempt at installing and setting up the fabled Google Sitemap Generator. For those SEOs out there wondering if it would be beneficial to install this fancy piece of open source Linux wizardry, we at Word Wizards Web Design have a message for you… DON’T BOTHER!
Now that XML sitemaps are the standard practice of most Search Engines, Google kindly offers a utility that can be installed on your system to automatically generate sitemaps that are optimized and ping Google with any new changes to your web site. They say it is easy, and requires no knowledge of advanced system manipulation or coding. “Easy”, as long as you feel comfortable opening a direct Linux Terminal Shell to your server, and using the command line prompt to hack your own site and install a mysterious unsupported piece of software! There is nobody at Google to call for help, and try asking your hosting service provider and their best tech support will scratch their heads and say, “we have to get back to you on that one.”
Luckily, we have our heads on straight in the web design studio. With seasoned programers, Linux users, and code ninjas all huddling over a secret portal to our sites inner workings, surely we could figure the thing out right? Wrong! With all of our extensive resources put to the task, we succeeded in the upload, the installation, but when it came time to set up the utility and begin the magical sitemap generating process, a nightmare of access issues, port securities, and unspecified functional errors plagued our hard working and frustrated SEO team. Thankfully, Google tech support consists of a series of very well optimized documents explaining the same information over and over again; we eventually realized we were on our own.
After weeks of this working nightmare, the effort was all for naught! It is a much simpler process to use an XML sitemap generator provided for free on multiple third party websites and do the uploading manually. If anyone has ever figured this little puzzle out, I am sure you deserve some credit. However, the lack of internet reviews or blog articles explaining the utility known as the Google Sitemap Generator should be the only answer you require.
Do your own sitemap and you will save your time, energy, and holiday cheer.