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Create automatically generated sitemap files to be referenced from your robots.txt. This helps with SEO and the discovery of new content.

Sitemaps are based on indexes. Please see the document Indexing to learn more about indexing. For automatic sitemap generation, please ensure that you have already added the query-index document as explained in the indexing document.

Initial Sitemap Configuration

If you follow the steps for setting up an initial query index in the document Indexing, the system will generate a sitemap at the location:

https://<branch>--<repo>--<owner>.hlx.page/sitemap.xml

And a sitemap configuration at the following location:

https://<branch>--<repo>--<owner>.hlx.page/helix-sitemap.yaml

It will use a default domain derived from your current branch, repository and owner. To customize the domain used in creating external URLs, add a property named host or cdn.prod.host in your project configuration (named .helix/config when using Google Drive as backend or .helix/config.xlsx on Sharepoint) and preview that file to activate it. This will automatically replace the domain in the generated sitemap configuration and rebuild the sitemap.

It is recommended that you create a sitemap-index.xml file that references all your sitemaps and keep that as part of your project code in your github repo. This way it is easy to add new sitemaps as the project expands.

Manual Setup of Your Sitemap

If you need more customization than your generated sitemap configuration file provides, you can copy its contents and paste it into a file named helix-sitemap.yaml in the root folder of your project.

Note: When using a manually configured index and sitemap (e.g. your code repo includes a helix-query.yaml and helix-sitemap.yaml file) your index definition must include the robots property to ensure the sitemap excludes pages with robots: noindex metadata. When using auto-generated index definitions, simply follow the recommendations in the indexing documentation so those pages are excluded from the index.

The following sections contain the supported types of sitemaps.

Simple Sitemap

The following is a simple helix-sitemap.yaml. It assumes a single index containing all the pages that need to appear in the sitemap.

 sitemaps:
   example:
     source: /query-index.json
     destination: /sitemap-en.xml

If you want last modification dates to be included in the URLs of your sitemap, add a lastmod property including a format to your configuration.

 sitemaps:
   example:
     source: /query-index.json
     destination: /sitemap-en.xml
     lastmod: YYYY-MM-DD

Multiple Sitemaps

It is common to have sitemaps per section of the sites and/or per country or language. AEM supports sitemaps including the corresponding hreflang references. In the following example we assume that there is a one to one mapping between the indexes and the sitemaps XML files.

 sitemaps:
   example:
     languages:
       en:
         source: /en/query-index.json
         destination: /sitemap-en.xml
         hreflang: en
       fr:
         source: /fr/query-index.json
         destination: /sitemap-fr.xml
         hreflang: fr
         alternate: /fr/{path}

If there are two pages in the english and french section that share a common suffix, they will be related, so e.g. if you have a page /welcome in the english section and a page /fr/welcome in the french section, the resulting entry in the /sitemap-en.xml will look like this:

<url>
  <loc>https://wwww.mysite.com/welcome</loc>
  <xhtml:link rel="alternate" hreflang="en" href="https://wwww.mysite.com/welcome"/>
  <xhtml:link rel="alternate" hreflang="fr" href="https://wwww.mysite.com/fr/welcome"/>
</url>

A similar entry will be available in /sitemap-fr.xml.

Specifying the primary language manually

There might be situations where you have alternate versions of a page, but you’re unable to use a common suffix to identify them, possibly because you’re porting a legacy website that should not have its paths changed. In that situation, you can specify a primary-language-url for the alternate location, in the metadata of the document.

Let’s assume our primary language is english, we have a page /welcome in the english section and /fr/bienvenu in the french section, and the latter is an alternate version of the former.

First, we add that information to the document at /fr/bienvenu in its metadata:

This can also be added to a global metadata sheet, as shown in Bulk Metadata.

Then, we add an indexed property primary-language-url to the french index:

 primary-language-url:
   select: head > meta[name="primary-language-url"]
   value: attribute(el, "content")

Finally, we re-publish the french page, and rebuild the sitemap.

Specifying the default language

Another common requirement is to specify the default language for a sitemap with multiple languages. This can be achieved by adding a property default in the sitemap:

 sitemaps:
   example:
     default: en
     languages:
       en:
         source: /en/query-index.json
         destination: /sitemap-en.xml
         hreflang: en
       fr:
         source: /fr/query-index.json
         destination: /sitemap-fr.xml
         hreflang: fr
         alternate: /fr/{path}

In the resulting sitemap, all entries from the english subtree will have an extra alternate entry with hreflang x-default.

Specifying multiple hreflangs for one subtree

Sometimes, it is required to map multiple hreflangs to only one language subtree, e.g. consider we want the following to appear in the resulting sitemap:

<url>
 <loc>https://myhost/la/page</loc>
 <xhtml:link rel="alternate" hreflang="es-VE" href="https://myhost/la/page"/>
 <xhtml:link rel="alternate" hreflang="es-SV" href="https://myhost/la/page"/>
 <xhtml:link rel="alternate" hreflang="es-PA" href="https://myhost/la/page"/>
</url>

Every page in our sitemap source should appear exactly once, but have multiple alternate hreflangs associated with it. In order to achieve this, you should specify an array of languages in the hreflang property:

 sitemaps:
   example:
     languages:
       la:
         source: /la/query-index.json
         destination: /sitemap-la.xml
         hreflang:
           - es-VE
           - es-SV
           - es-PA

Multiple Indexes Aggregated Into One Sitemap

There are cases where it is easier to have a single larger sitemap than fragmented small sitemaps, especially as there is a limit of sitemaps that can be submitted to search engines per site.

The following example shows how to aggregate a number of separate indexes into a single sitemap.

 sitemaps:
   example:
     languages:
       dk:
         source: /dk/query-index.json
         destination: /sitemap.xml
         hreflang: dk
         alternate: /dk/{path}
       no:
         source: /no/query-index.json
         destination: /sitemap.xml
         hreflang: no
         alternate: /no/{path}

Using the same destination it is possible to combine multiple small sitemaps into one larger sitemap.

Including other sitemaps as input

In a mixed scenario, where not all languages in a sitemap are managed in AEM, you can include sitemaps from other language trees by specifying an XML path as source, as in:

sitemaps:
   example:
     languages:
       en:
         source: /en/query-index.json
         destination: /sitemaps/sitemap-en.xml
         hreflang: en
       fr:
         source: https://www.mysite.com/legacy/sitemap-fr.xml
         destination: /sitemaps/sitemap-fr.xml
         hreflang: fr
         alternate: /fr/{path}

In this example, we use an external french sitemap to calculate all sitemap locations. AEM will determine alternates for english sitemap URLs by deconstructing the french counterparts in external sitemap using the alternate definition.

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