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XML vs. TXT Sitemap?

Discussion in 'Google Sitemaps' started by Tara33, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. #1
    The first time I created my site map for Google, I did so in a txt file. It uploaded fine, and began to show Google through my site per the stats available in the account details.

    I then began to lose previously indexed pages in Google. I read in this forum, that some believed that adding a Google sitemap caused indexing problems with their site; and they were losing pages in the hundreds, if not thousands, from the Google index. I toyed with taking down my site map, and saw almost instant results - my pages began to show in the index within minutes afterwards.

    Then, after a few days, I began to see the same inconsistencies, and fluctuations in the index as before, so I added the sitmap again to my account. However, this time, I used an XML format. It seemed to give better results - quicker indexing, and more pages indexed.
    SEMrush
    My question is, does anyone feel that it is better (or worse) to use one file format over the other? Is Google more inclined (algorithmically) to read and index an XML sitemap, rather than a txt site map - or are all of these occurrences typical Google anomalies?

    Any thoughts are greatly appreciated!
     
    Tara33, Jul 26, 2006 IP
    SEMrush
  2. mad4

    mad4 Peon

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    #2
    I would bet my house on the fact that google is not de-indexing you as a result of adding a sitemap.

    What they may be doing is using the sitemap to spider pages and then realising that some existing pages are dead or that they don't want them to be in the index so are removing them.
     
    mad4, Jul 26, 2006 IP
  3. Tara33

    Tara33 Peon

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    #3
    I decided a few weeks ago, that the site map was NOT causing the problem with the indexing and deindexing of my site. I thought I would try removing it, as a few other DP members were testing the theory for their own sites.

    I didn't have any html errors, or files not found in the sitemap control panel. Google has just been going through some crazy changes, I think. That is probably all that was happening; it was just cooincidence that it happened around the same time some of us began to use Google Sitemaps.
     
    Tara33, Jul 26, 2006 IP
    GRIM likes this.
  4. MaxPowers

    MaxPowers Peon

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    #4
    I'm with Mad4 100%... I monitor hundreds of sitemaps with Google and there haven't been any issues with de-indexing any of the sites.

    The XML format gives G a little more info about your site and the best parts of that is that it saves you some bandwidth (versus checking pages that never update...changefreq) and it helps them to focus on the pages you feel are most important (priority). It also lets them know which pages they need to come visit (lastmod) because their index is out of date for that page.

    If you're running static PHP pages (real files for each page with some PHP thrown in), I have a script that will even allow you to support the If-Modified-Since and Last-Modified HTTP headers that Google likes so much. This script won't work if you have a smarty template, because all 'pages' come through 1 file, but it's worked wonders for me on a few sites.
     
    MaxPowers, Jul 27, 2006 IP
  5. Cryogenius

    Cryogenius Peon

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    #5
    "If-Modified-Since" and "Last-Modified" HTTP headers are great for reducing your total bandwidth costs too, especially if you get a lot of repeat visits. The "Expires" header is another good one if you know when the page will be updated next, or conversely if you know when your page won't be updated (e.g. not for at least 24 hours).

    Can be really tricky to debug though - "wget -S --spider" is really useful for that.

    Cryo.
     
    Cryogenius, Jul 27, 2006 IP
  6. catanich

    catanich Peon

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    #6
    Having used both types, I recommend both of them.

    The XML version for a complete, deep index (i.e. Python generated).

    The TXT version to obtained a "focused" index of a small amount.

    But if both have the same number of pages in it, then the XML gives better results.
     
    catanich, Jul 28, 2006 IP
  7. onlywin

    onlywin Greenhorn

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    #7
    In a basic way, both are the same. But in the XML version you can add more information
     
    onlywin, May 21, 2009 IP
  8. luizeba

    luizeba Active Member

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    #8
    XML is, surely, better than txt =P
     
    luizeba, May 24, 2009 IP
  9. khurramalvi

    khurramalvi Active Member

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    #9
    XML is the best if you update website frequently.
     
    khurramalvi, May 26, 2009 IP
  10. jokarl

    jokarl Peon

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    #10
    I usually have both. I have one XML sitemap for google to read and i have one text sitemap for my visitors to read. This is the best imo.
     
    jokarl, May 27, 2009 IP
  11. andrewterrol

    andrewterrol Member

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    #11
    I also think that a XML sitemap is better for search engine because in the XML sitemap we can indicate the page's priority, the page's change frequency and we can indicate when was the page last time modified. Another thing why I think XML is better than TXT sitemaps would be that currently, there are almost 476.000 websites with xml sitemaps and only 10.100 witv txt sitemaps ( done a search on google, inurl:sitemap.txt and inurl:sitemap.xml).
     
    andrewterrol, Jun 10, 2009 IP
  12. S.K.L.Technologies

    S.K.L.Technologies Banned

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    #12
    according to my knowledge XML is best
     
    S.K.L.Technologies, Jun 14, 2009 IP
  13. singh03

    singh03 Member

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    #13
    XML Sitemap is best comparision to TXT format.using XML sitemap search engine spinder/crawler search the web pages priority,frequency and also show last modified date.a XML sitemap helps as far as getting indexed faster by google.:)
     
    singh03, Jul 1, 2009 IP
  14. Udgin

    Udgin Peon

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    #14
    XML Sitemap is best comparision to TXT format
     
    Udgin, Jul 1, 2009 IP
  15. Traxxas Man

    Traxxas Man Peon

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    #15
    If you are using a Wordpress blog, I would recommend automating the sitemap creation through a plugin. An XML would be best.
     
    Traxxas Man, Jul 7, 2009 IP
  16. websitetools

    websitetools Well-Known Member

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    #16
    You use you some of the extra information XML sitemaps gives, then XML sitemaps. Otherwise text sitemaps will do fine. You may want to read this sitemaps comparison article.
     
    websitetools, Jul 9, 2009 IP
  17. NHN

    NHN Banned

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    #17
    xml - sitemap is better to use .
     
    NHN, Jul 17, 2009 IP
  18. failer

    failer Peon

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    #18
    I love it when peeps like me discover this trick 5 years late
     
    failer, Aug 4, 2012 IP
  19. Digital_lover

    Digital_lover Member

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    #19
    Both can be used for indexing purposes. But the XML site map works better and give you good results than the txt sitemap.
     
    Digital_lover, Aug 5, 2012 IP