Creating your own XML site map
The alternative is to write your own XML site map. The site-map protocol extends requirements for
writing a site map that’s fully functional. The top two requirements of that protocol are that your
site map must consist of XML tags and that is should be UTF-8 encoded. UTF-8 encoding stands for
8 bit UCS/Unicode Transformation Format and is a type of code that’s consistent with ASCII.
Another requirement for your XML site map is that data values within the site map must be entity
escaped, which means that special characters indicating alternative interpretations must be used.
Entity escape codes you can use in your XML site map include those listed in Table 16-1.
Entity Escape Characters
These escape characters are used in URLs to replace the characters indicated. So the following URL
would look like this after the escape codes are included:
In addition to entity escaping, you must also use a set of XML tags. The ones you’ll use most fre-
quently are shown in Table 16-2.
The code snippets used in this chapter are examples of how site maps should be written
specifically for Google. For the most part, these snippets will be the same across the
various search engines, but before you begin writing your site map code, review the guidelines set
forth by the search engine you’re targeting. Luckily Google, Yahoo!, and MSN have all agreed to
follow the same site-map standard.
Optimizing Search Strategies
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