Now that my sitemap implementation is committed in the source and will be included in upcoming 1.9.4 version of SubText let me tell you how you can use it.
Sitemaps is a standard that is accepted among major search engines and here is a definition from sitemaps.org:
Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages on their sites that are available for crawling. In its simplest form, a Sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL (when it was last updated, how often it usually changes, and how important it is, relative to other URLs in the site) so that search engines can more intelligently crawl the site.
Web crawlers usually discover pages from links within the site and from other sites. Sitemaps supplement this data to allow crawlers that support Sitemaps to pick up all URLs in the Sitemap and learn about those URLs using the associated metadata. Using the Sitemap protocol does not guarantee that web pages are included in search engines, but provides hints for web crawlers to do a better job of crawling your site.
In practice that means that search engine will index your site faster, that it will index more pages and that you have a word which pages are more important that others. But please have in mind that this are not an instructions it's more of a recommendation. At the end the search engine decides when, what and whether it will index your site. From my experience adding sitemap to your site can and will improve your index and by this increase traffic.
So how do you use SubText sitemaps? First, you should be running SubText version 1.9.4 or greater. The URL of your generated sitemap is http://<yourhost>/<blog>/sitemap.ashx (e.g. http://www.vidmar.net/weblog/sitemap.ashx on my site) so check it in the browser first. You will see, that the XML is rather long. It includes front page, all your posts and articles (newer ones have higher priorities), archives by categories and months and your contact page.
As of today only Google and Yahoo have user interface for webmasters to submit their sitemaps.
- To add it to Google, go to Google Webmaster tools, validate your site and add a sitemap. SubText powered blog has a sitemap at your. Wait couple of days and return to check if everything is ok. You can also add your RSS feed as a sitemap. I'm not sure how Google's mind work but I figure that two is better than one. I added both and Google likes me so far.
- To add it to Yahoo go to Yahoo! Site Explorer (Beta) which works basically the same as Google. First you have to prove that you run the site, then you can add sitemaps. In my case Yahoo took couple of days to check sitemap, while Google did it in couple of hours.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me through my contact form!