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I have a site that covers several different interest areas - logically, you could think of it as a collection of many 'mini' websites under the MAIN website. Since the areas are not necessarily related., I dont want to use one 'BIG' sitemap, since the pages in different sections of the website will 'polute' each others ranking (because pages in section 'ABC' will have content discussing 'ABC', while pages form section 'XYZ' will predominantly have content discussing 'XYZ'.

I wonder if it is possible to create multiple sitemaps (each covering a separate interest area under my MAIN website), and submit these sitemaps to Google, alongside maybe, a 'master' sitemap for my main website.?

If yes, could someone be kind enough to either present a small example here, or point me to where I may readup myself, on how to split up or partition a sitemap into smaller sitemap files each of which cover separate 'areas' in a website. BTW, I have looked up the Google documentation, and AFAIK, it does not (at least explicitly), have this information.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I do not understand what you mean by "polluting" ranking since the way you organize your sitemaps does not influence ranking.

But having a clear separation between different website areas sitemaps is definitely not a bad idea. And actually quite simple, as specified in the Sitemap protocol

Here's a sitemap index pointing to two different sitemaps:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<sitemapindex xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9">
   <sitemap>
      <loc>http://www.example.com/sitemap1.xml.gz</loc>
      <lastmod>2004-10-01T18:23:17+00:00</lastmod>
   </sitemap>
   <sitemap>
      <loc>http://www.example.com/sitemap2.xml.gz</loc>
      <lastmod>2005-01-01</lastmod>
   </sitemap>
</sitemapindex>

The sitemap index needs to be located in the root of your website as /sitemap_index.xml

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Thank you, that has been very helpful indeed. Regarding the "pollution" I mentioned earlier, I was informed by an "SEO expert" that Google uses a sitemap (or specifically, the contents thereof), to determine the type of website it is (e.g. computer games, fashion etc). Having determined the "type" of site it is, it then checks the quality or relance of links coming to the site. By this reasoning, The logic being that a site that has links coming ion from games, religion, furniture i slikely to be rankd lowly, since Google can't sufficiently 'characterize' it. Dont know if that makes sense 2 u –  user25312 Jan 25 '10 at 20:58

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