Gzip Compressed XML Sitemaps

Compressed XML Sitemaps use Gzip compression and are supported by search engines like Google. The .gz file extension usually means a file contains compressed data.

Understanding Compressed XML Sitemaps

Compressed XML sitemaps are supported by all major search engines. The benefit of compressed sitemaps is that they save bandwidth for website servers and search engines. That is why some sitemap tools such as including A1 Sitemap Generator support generating sitemaps using Gzip compression. Usually such sitemap files end with file extension .gz or .xml.gz with the full file name being similar to sitemap.xml.gz.

In A1 Sitemap Generator, your can enable compression when building XML sitemaps by checking option: Create sitemap | XML sitemap options | Apply Gzip to a copy of generated sitemap file(s)

Solving Problems with Compressed XML Sitemaps

If you try to download your own sitemap files, e.g. example.xml.gz, most web browsers will correctly prompt you to download the compressed sitemap file.

However, if your webserver is not sending correct MIME headers for .gz files, some browsers may instead try open the sitemap file. This will fail as the internet browser has not correctly recognized the file format.

Under all circumstances, if you submit your XML sitemap to search engines like Google, chances are they will be able to correctly download and process your XML sitemaps no matter if they are compressed or not. If you get error messages, you can always return to using normal uncompressed XML sitemaps.
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