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Problems Using Google Sitemap Generator

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#1 iamlost


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Posted 19 November 2008 - 07:04 PM

Note (from iamlost): I received this message via pm and am posting it here for feedback:

I read this article on how to createa google sitemap using the google sitemap generator.

I came across issues that has nothing to do with seo. But if I don't fix it, I can't create the sitemap.

Google requires the following if you want to generate google sitemap using google sitemap generator:

* You must be able to connect to and run scripts on your web server.
* Your web server must have Python 2.2 or later installed.
* You must know the command that launches Python. (Generally, this is python, but may vary by installation. For instance, if the web server has two versions of Python installed, the earlier version may be invoked by the command python and the later version may be invoked by the command python2.)
* You must know the directory path to your site. If your web server hosts one site, this may be a path such as var/www/html. If you have a virtual server that hosts multiple sites, this may be a path such as home/virtual/site1/fst/var/www/html.
* You must be able to upload files to your web server (for instance, using FTP).
* If you will be generating a list of URLs based on access logs, you must know the encoding used for those logs and the complete path to them.

My hosting company has python 2.2 installed and said I can run python and php scripts as long as I enable execute permission using ftp. I did that too.

Google mentioned I need to upload the following 3 files to my root directory:

sitemap_gen.py —the python script that generates your Sitemap
config.xml - the template configuration file I'll use to specify the configuration for my site
urllist.txt - the template URL list I can use if I wish to create a Sitemap based on a set of URLs that I specify ( I chose this option as I thought it was the easiest)

In order to run the Sitemap Generator, you’ll need to connect to your web server. The method you use to connect depends on your environment. For instance, you can generally access a UNIX-based server using SSH. For more information on connecting to your web server and running scripts, talk to your web host. - I spoke to my hosting company and they said to use a php file to run the python script (sitemap_gen.py).

This is where I'm stuck. I don't know how to create a php file. Then I searched all over Google and found out how to create one.

I tried to run the php file using internet explorer and it would return the following:

Internal Server Error

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Please contact the server administrator, webmaster@blah.co.uk and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error. More information about this error may be available in the server error log.

Can anyone point me to the right direction?

All I wanted was to create a google friend sitemap and I am determined to follow this way to create one. I realize there are other places where its easy to create xml sitemaps but I believe this is a good way to create a sitemap where I can decide how often googlebot should crawl my site by specifying that in the config.xml file.

Anybody out there who knows what I'm going through and how I can get through this?

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#2 jonbey


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Posted 19 November 2008 - 08:19 PM

Try GSiteCrawler. You just download it and run it for your URL, then generate your sitemap, and upload. OK, it does not keep the site updated all the time, but then do you really need to?

You say "I believe this is a good way to create a sitemap where I can decide how often googlebot should crawl my site by specifying that in the config.xml file." but do you think that you can really dictate when Google crawls your site?

Focus on good navigation, and creating good quality new content on a regular basis, and Google will come on a regular basis.

#3 DonnaFontenot


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Posted 19 November 2008 - 11:46 PM

There are lots of alternative sitemap generators that don't have any of those requirements. You aren't forced to use Google's sitemap generator tool. They just provide it as a courtesy. Just do a search for xml sitemap generator or google sitemap generator and you'll find many to choose from. Use whatever works best for you.




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Posted 20 November 2008 - 12:19 AM

I tried using Google sitemap generator and gave up. Also tried AdManager and gave up - spent two weekends trying to figure it out. These are things that a lot of people could benefit from if they were made easier. Imagine what Google might get back if they were easy "push button" applications. Improving AdManager might run all of the other networks out of town.

#5 bwelford


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Posted 20 November 2008 - 01:37 AM

Let me throw my vote in too for Gsite Crawler (Softplus). It works like a charm and I've used it for a year or two now.

#6 jonbey


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Posted 20 November 2008 - 04:17 AM

Another idea for Wordpress users - there is a plugin that generates dynamic goolge-pal sitemaps

But GSite Crawler also generates ROR, .txt lists, has FTP if you need it, plus can generate simple html lists based on title or URL. It is not perfect, but it is free to download and use on your own pc.

Edited by jonbey, 20 November 2008 - 04:18 AM.

#7 tambre


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Posted 20 November 2008 - 10:39 AM

i'm a fan of gsite crawler. i've used it for a few years now.

i use this one, too: XML-Sitemaps for Google - http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/
(i don't own this link, it's not my site... just tryin to be helpful :) )

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