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I'm sitemapping all my forum topics. It works great:

<url> 
    <loc>http://127.0.0.1/scirranew/Forum/Breaks-and-slowdowns-Vram-200_topic32854.html</loc> 
    <lastmod>2010-11-06</lastmod> 
    <changefreq>daily</changefreq> 
    <priority>0.7</priority> 
</url>

However, with change frequency, this totally depends on how long ago the last reply was. Is it ok, to dynamically generate these values, or should I leave this XML tag out completely? IE, I was planning on doing:

If last reply date was:

< 1 hour ago = always
< 1 day ago = hourly
< 1 week ago = daily
< 4 weeks ago = weekly
< 12 months ago = monthly
else yearly

Thanks for any tips!

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1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I leave it out. It doesn't really offer Google or any other search engine anything useful and with dynamic pages its real value is going to vary wildly and that value will rarely be correct.

But I like your approach. If you feel it's necessary to include it that might not be a bad way to do it. Or you could really go the extra mile and figure out the time between the most recent comment and the one ten comments before it and use the average time between comments as your value. It would be more accurate but still hardly useful.

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Thanks, I really really appreciate all the hard work you do on the site answering noob questions from people like me :) Is Loc/LastMod/Priority good enough then in your opinion? –  Tom Gullen Apr 12 '11 at 19:27
    
Also I've been reading that if I do changefreqs right, I'll save tons of bandwidth because the spiders will crawl old topics less frequently –  Tom Gullen Apr 12 '11 at 19:33
    
@tom, No prob. Helping people helps me learn and keeps me distracted from spaghetti code. :) Loc/LastMod/Priority is good enough. I haven't heard of changefreqs actually having an affect on crawl rate but I haven't been looking, either. It didn't used to make a different but maybe it does now? Hopefully someone has empirical evidence of this and just an observation. It would be nice if it was actually used to reduce crawl rates. That would save both bandwidth and sites from being hammered by googlebot. –  John Conde Apr 12 '11 at 19:42

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