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SEO Problem: Broken/Outdated sitemaps

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Joined: 23 Nov 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:18 pm    Post subject: SEO Problem: Broken/Outdated sitemaps Reply with quote

Whilst not essential, XML sitemaps are very useful to the search engines to make sure they can find all URLs that you care about. They can give the search engines a nudge in the right direction. Unfortunately, some XML sitemaps are generated one-time-only and quickly become outdated, causing them to contain broken links and not contain new URLs.

Ideally, your XML sitemaps should be updated regularly so that broken URLs are removed and new URLs are added. This is more important if you're a large website that adds new pages all the time. Bing has also said that they have a threshold for "dirt" in a sitemap and if the threshold is hit, they will not trust it as much.

How to solve:

First, you should do an audit of your current sitemap to find broken links. This great tool from Mike King can do the job.

Second, you should speak to your developers about making your XML sitemap dynamic so that it updates regularly. Depending on your resources, this could be once a day, once a week, or once a month. There will be some development time required here, but it will save you (and them) plenty of time in the long run.

An extra tip here: you can experiment and create sitemaps which only contain new products and have these particular sitemaps update more regularly than your standard sitemaps. You could also do a bit of extra-lifting if you have dev resources to create a sitemap which only contains URLs which are not indexed.

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