sitemap

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<entry-title>Sitemap</entry-title>

Authors

Ross McDonald

Problem

Enable the automatic generation of a number of different sitemap and related mechanisms from existing HTML by specifying a minimal amount of semantic information.

Examples that could be generated:

  • sitemap.xml
  • HTML sitemap for usability/accessibility
  • HTML5 cache manifest

Countless sites contain HTML navigation constructs which already detail all/most of the information required to build an HTML sitemap or cache manifest, and parts of the information required to build a sitemap.xml file.

Typically these constructs leverage link elements which conveniently expose an 'href' attribute. Add a way to specify 'priority' and maybe 'changefreq' and enough would be in place for machines to build a sitemap.xml.

Currently the alternative is to either write a site map manually, or supply information to a generator (the said data being disconnected from your site).

Useful metadata could be generated by machines or browser plugins with both leveraging a simple microformat.

Existing standards

The sitemap protocol is very simple.

Proposal

Per the microformats The microformats process: