XML sitemaps, as defined by Sitemaps.org, are a standard way to inform search engines about the content of your web site. While in many cases your site will be automatically crawled for new content, there may exist pages without any direct link. Using an XML sitemap is a way to let the search engine know about its existence.
XML sitemaps have another important role. They define how often the contents of the pages gets updated and how important a particular page is comparing to other pages on the same web site. Both data are very powerful Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tool which can help you achieve natural, high search engine rank.
Nowadays, many Content Management Systems (CMS) support generating XML sitemaps out of the box. Others provide plugins which generate XML sitemaps based on the available content.
So far all of our customers, for whom we have delivered a Web Content Management (WCM) solution based on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, asked us for implementing support for dynamic XML sitemaps. We have noticed how important and desired this functionality is. For all of you who haven’t developed your own solution yet: introducing the Imtech XML Sitemap Feature.
Imtech XML Sitemap is a SharePoint 2007 Feature. Upon activation it adds a custom HttpHandler which generates an XML sitemap as defined by sitemaps.org. The handler can be requested by adding sitemap.xml to the Site Collection’s URL, for example: http://sharepoint/sitemap.xml or http://sharepoint/sites/wcm/sitemap.xml.
The Imtech XML Sitemap Feature is scoped to Web Application. This is because it doesn’t provision any Site Collection or Site scoped resources and it modifies the web.config to hook up the custom HttpHandler. You can activate the feature either by using the STSADM -o activatefeature command or through Central Administration > Application Management > Manage Web Application Features.
The Imtech XML Sitemap Features provides the basic XML sitemaps functionality. It contains static change frequency and priority values. Because it is something you might want to customize I decided to provide not only the WSP but the complete Visual Studio 2008 solution so you can do the necessary modifications and build your own Feature.
The Imtech XML Sitemap Feature is free and can be used without any restrictions.