How to Set Up a Google Sitemap on a Yahoo! Store

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

What Google's Google Sitemaps is a free and easy-to-use tool that provides detailed information on how to make a website more "Google-friendly". Through the use of this tool, one can see first-hand how Google crawls and indexes the pages on a website and learn about specific problems Google is having with the site. This is my guide for setting up a Google Sitemap on a Yahoo! Store.

What Google's

One of the reasons why I absolutely enjoy working with the Yahoo! Store platform as much as I do is because it seems to play well with others... well for the most part anyway. Today's Yahoo! Store and shopping cart can be integrated with so many different brands, tools, and online platforms to create an easy and seamless user-experience. Some of these include: PayPal, PaymentTech, UPS Online Tools, UPS World Ship, Yahoo! Search Marketing, Yahoo! SiteExplorer, and the basis for today's post Google's Webmaster Tools... aka Google Sitemaps.

Google Sitemaps is a free and easy-to-use tool that provides detailed information on how to make a website more "Google-friendly". Through the use of this tool, one can see first-hand how Google crawls and indexes the pages on a website and learn about specific problems Google is having with the site. One can also learn which queries are driving traffic, and see how search-users are arriving on a website. There is a lot of information that can be gained from setting up a Google Sitemap, and it's in a webmaster's or site owner's best interest to do so.

Having an understanding of this, the Yahoo! Store development team has done what they always do and made setting up a Google Sitemap with a Yahoo! Store less of a hassle. In what would normally be a multiple-step process of having to understand the Google Sitemap protocol in order to correctly build out an XML file with all of your store's URLs implemented, the Yahoo! Store platform can compliment a Google Sitemap in 3 easy steps (essentially, there are actually 12 steps, but only 3 real tasks that need to be completed).

How to Set Up a Google Sitemap on a Yahoo! Store

Here are those 12 steps for setting up a Google Sitemap with a Yahoo! Store:

Step 1

First things first, open up two browser windows. One window should be logged into your Google Sitemaps account (if you don't have one, create one), and the other should be logged into the "Store Control Panel" of your Yahoo! Store account. Throughout this process, we'll be switching back and forth from one screen to the other so it's best to keep both readily available.

Step 2

On the Google Sitemaps screen, add your website. To do so, enter your website's URL in the specified section at the top of the screen, and click "OK".

What Google's

Step 3

After clicking "OK" in the previous step, you'll be redirected to the "Summary" page. This page highlights some key information, such as the last time Google has crawled your website and a report on what your current index status is. If you're setting up a new website, don't worry about not seeing such information... all this means is that Google has not yet found/crawled your website.

For now, you're going to want to ignore this page and navigate back to the "Dashboard" page (via a breadcrumb link near the top of the page or by clicking on the "Google" logo on the top left of the page).

Step 4

Now on the "Dashboard" page again, you should see that your website has been added. You should also see two other sections titled "Sitemap" and "Site Verified" and underneath them respectively you'll see two links titled "Add a Sitemap" and "Verify". Adding a Sitemap and verifying your website are the last two steps in this process. Let's start with verifying your website (Note: it doesn't matter which is done first, but we eliminate 2 steps by doing the verification first). Click "Verify"

What Google's

Step 5

Now on the "Verify Site Ownership" page, you'll need to start the verification process (but not finish it). To do so, click on the drop-down menu provided and select "Upload an HTML file". An option does exist to verify your website via a Meta-Tag option (which is what I'd suggest for most websites); however it is much easier for Yahoo! Store owners to do so via an HTML upload. Google will now generate and display a "Google Sitemap Verification File". Using your mouse, highlight the file name, and copy it (to copy hit "CTRL + C" on your keyboard). DO NOT CLICK VERIFY. Instead, leave this page exactly as it is.

What Google's

Step 6

Switch over to your Yahoo! Store window. You should already be logged in and within the "Store Control Panel". Click on the "Search Engines" link under the "Promote" section near the bottom-left-corner of your screen.

What Google's

Step 7

Now on the "Promote your Site on Search Engines" page, scroll down and locate the "Create a Sitemap for Your Store" section. Within this section there are two tasks which must be completed. First click on the "enabled" radio-button. This will create and activate an XML Sitemap that is already formatted to work with Google's Sitemap protocol. After you've done that, click inside the designated box and paste the "Google Sitemap Verification File" that you had copied in step 5 (to paste hit "CTRL + V" on your keyboard). When doing so, make sure there are no extra spaces before or after the file.

What Google's

We're going to go ahead and do some forward planning. While we're in this screen, it is best to copy the URL for your soon to be sitemap. In the same area, you should see something like: "View: http://www.yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml". Highlight this link with your mouse and copy it (to copy hit "CTRL + C" on your keyboard).

What Google's

When finished, click "Done".

Step 8

Enter your Yahoo! Store editor and publish / republish your website. Doing so will automatically create an XML sitemap and the required Google Sitemap Verification File, and host them on your website. (Note: It's very important that you publish your Yahoo! Store now. If your Yahoo! Store states that it is already "published", you'll need to force it to publish by updating something on your website and then clicking the "publish" button.)

Step 9

Return to your Google Sitemaps window where you should still be on the "Verify Site Ownership" page. Click the "Verify" tab to complete the website verification process. If all was done properly, you should be taken back to the "Dashboard" page where you'll now see a green check mark under the "Site Verified" column.

Step 10

Now it's time to add your sitemap. Click the "Add a Sitemap" link under the "Sitemap" column to start this process.

What Google's

Step 11

Now on the "Add a Sitemap" page, add a Sitemap. To do so, click on the drop-down menu and select "Add General Web Sitemap". An option does exist to add a sitemap for a mobile website (such as those used for cell phones and PDAs); however most of you will want to select the general web sitemap option. Google will now ask for the URL to your website's sitemap. Click inside the designated box and paste the Sitemap URL that you had copied in step 7 (to paste hit "CTRL + V" on your keyboard). Click the "Add Web Sitemap" tab to finish adding a sitemap.

What Google's

Step 12

If all was done properly, you should be taken back to the "Dashboard" page where you'll now see a number 1 under the "Sitemap" column.

Congratulations! Google Sitemaps is now set-up. Give it a day or so to retrieve some data on your website, and then you'll have all the information you need to understand how the Google search engine finds, crawls, reads, and indexes the pages on your website.

What Google's

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25 Comments:

  1. Good walkthrough Karl. I've never setup a Google Sitemap for a website before, but the information was helpful and may come in handy in the future. GOOD JOB!
    By Blogger dubz on April 27, 2007
  2. You forgot a step there bud...

    Step 13: Proceed to make your eyes blink

    MAN, you didn't miss a beat there! excellent post.
    By Blogger Jessica Guadiana on April 27, 2007
  3. Good stuff, Karl. I don't know if I'll ever need it, but I saved it to del.icio.us just in case. :-)
    By Anonymous Matt McGee on April 27, 2007
  4. Nice post! :)
    By Anonymous Kelly Wilson on April 28, 2007
  5. Quick question:

    When I created my xml sitemap - the xml file name created was http://store.XdomainX.com/sitemap.xml

    Any idea why the 'store' was placed in front of my domain? This sitemap cannot be used in conjunction with my www.domain Google account (unless I register my site with the store predicate, but I'd prefer not to do that).

    Thanks for any insight you might be able to provide.
    By Anonymous Anonymous on May 12, 2007
  6. That's a great question, and I do know the solution to correct the problem. Follow these few steps:

    1) Within your "Store Control Panel" Screen find the "Site Settings" category (far right of the screen) and click on the "Domain Names" link underneath it.

    2) Now on the "Domain Name Management" page, scroll down to the "Yahoo! Domain Redirect Settings" section. Here you should find a "Redirect" drop-down menu, and it is most-definitely set to "store.domain.com".

    3) Click the "Redirect" drop-down and highlight the "www.domain.com" version of your website. Click the "Set Redirect" button.

    4) Publish / Republish your store. (Note: It's very important that you publish your Yahoo! Store now. If your Yahoo! Store states that it is already "published", you'll need to force it to publish by updating something on your website and then clicking the "publish" button.)

    If all was done correctly, the URL described in step 7 of the guide should have been changed to "www.domain.com". You should be able to complete the Google Sitemaps set- up to now with the sitemap URL being: http://www.domain.com/sitemap.xml.

    I hope this helps. Please let me know one way or the other.
    By Anonymous Karl Ribas on May 13, 2007
  7. Karl,

    I've used Yahoo! SiteBuilder to create and update my Yahoo! store website. Can I still create a sitemap, and if so, how? From the look of things it seems like I made the wrong choice in using SiteBuilder, but at this point I don't want to alter the appearance of my website or start from scratch in Store Editor if I don't absolutely have to.

    Thanks for your help.

    -AJ
    By Anonymous Anonymous on May 15, 2007
  8. Hey AJ -

    To be honest... using the Yahoo! Store platform is the way to go. It's probably worth the hassle (very little I imagine) making the switch from SiteBuilder to the Store platform. Something worth looking into.

    In any event, you can set-up a Google Sitemap with a Yahoo! SiteBuilder website. However the process is going to be a little different and a little more complicated. In other words, a there's quite a bit of detail and no way to fit it all in a comment.

    If you're still interested in setting one up, please shoot me an email. I will be able to address your current situation then.

    Thanks for the comment.
    By Anonymous Karl Ribas on May 16, 2007
  9. Thanks Karl for the information on redirecting my domain. It was spot on!
    By Anonymous Anonymous on May 19, 2007
  10. Not a problem. I'm glad I could help.
    By Anonymous Karl Ribas on May 19, 2007
  11. Is there anyway to edit the sitemap.xml file and overwrite the automatically generated one from Yahoo Store...?
    By Anonymous Anonymous on July 10, 2007
  12. I'm fairly certain that there is no way for you to edit the Google Sitemap file that your Yahoo! Store automatically generates on your behalf. However, if you didn't want to use that file for some reason, you could create a separate (edited) version yourself and submit that to Google instead.
    By Anonymous Karl Ribas on July 10, 2007
  13. Thanks Alot Karl, there is a glitch with Y! stores where you have to force the store to publish that I didn't know about until reading your blog. Now magemarinestore.com will make more money than ever.
    By Blogger Shane on July 14, 2007
  14. Thank you for such a thorough walkthrough. You have made my day a lot easier!
    By Anonymous Sam on July 23, 2007
  15. Hey Sam -

    That's great. I'm glad I could help. By the way... very cool site.
    By Anonymous Karl Ribas on July 24, 2007
  16. Hi! Thank you for the useful info!
    I've created the website of my family's small hotel using yahoo!sitebuilder (no HTML knowledge...)
    I would like to add a sitemap but it seems to be complicated according to your previous reply to another post (AJ). Could you please give me some help?
    Thanks in advance.
    Georgios.
    By Anonymous Anonymous on August 29, 2007
  17. Hey Georgios -

    Not a problem... and thank you for your comments.

    If you're still interested, please feel free to email me and I'll explain then. The process is a bit tricky and I'll need to provide you with an XML template... which is the main reason why I can't explain via a comment.
    By Anonymous Karl Ribas on August 29, 2007
  18. excellent
    By Blogger roiit86 on March 18, 2008
  19. Thanks for this...I was trying to figure out where that site map file was...this finally did the trick.
    By Blogger Andy on March 21, 2008
  20. I've spent hours trying to figure this out, then I found this article. I soon realized I had already done everything but the final step. Thank you!!
    By Blogger Denis on August 17, 2008
  21. Hey Denis -

    Thanks for leaving a comment. I appreciate it.
    By Anonymous Karl Ribas on August 18, 2008
  22. Many thanks! Who knew yahoo had a button you needed turned on. :)
    By Blogger Rich on December 16, 2008
  23. hi Karl, you are incredibly thorough, thank you for the post, now I have a question, I have a yahoo store with the google sitemap, but I also want an html map easier to read for my customers do you have any idea as to how to do that?
    Thank you man.
    By Anonymous Glads on December 30, 2008
  24. Hey Glads -

    You can go about this 2 different ways.

    First Yahoo! automatically creates a sitemap for your customers to use. You will find it here: www.YOURDOMAIN.com/ind.html. In this case, all you'd have to do is link to it from your main navigation. Maybe a text-link called "SiteMap" - whatever works for you. This page will automatically link to all of your pages - typcically it is in alphabetical order... which may or may not be the best approach for you.

    The second way is to simply create a store page specifically for your sitemap. Depending on the number of "important" pages that are relevant for your users - not every page will fit this citeria - you could create a layout similar to the way that I have for my site. You can view my sitemap here: http://www.karlribas.com/sitemap.htm. The benefit here is that you'll be able to categorize them making them easier to find for your customers.

    I hope this helps.
    By Anonymous Karl Ribas on December 30, 2008
  25. thanking you for this tutorial post.its so much helpful to me.its so nice,you have shared ur knowledge with us.
    By Anonymous john on February 25, 2011

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