New feature: Image XML Sitemaps
After the extended support to images added to the previous release, the missing bit was the support of Image XML Sitemaps by our popular XML Sitemap generator.
Not any longer!
Image Sitemaps are an extension by Google of the Sitemap protocol to include for each page the relevant images we want the search engine to index.
The XML Sitemap generator can now optionally include images.
Sitemap images are decorated with the descriptions taken from the ALT attribute.
XML Sitemap options (not the default values)
Having to include images for each page implied the tool had to be able to recognize and discard non-relevant images added as decorative elements without providing informational value.
Permitting the user to view and cherry-pick each image for each exported page sounded cool, but given the huge number of images and pages a XML Sitemap could include it would have been impractical.
We had to balance ease of use, high automation and quality result. The solution we adopted is providing two ways to filter out irrelevant image:
- Skipping images with empty or missing ALT attribute, which according to HTML specifications should be left empty for irrelevant images.
This is by far the fastest solution.
We recommend fully checking your site images with Images Inspector to ensure all image ALT attributes are correct.
- Using a reference count. Since ALT attribute is often not populated for relevant images also, the criteria is setting a maximum number of occurrences to discriminate relevant images, and if it is exceeded, the image is considered irrelevant.
In case of large sites this can be significantly slower.
The two solutions do not exclude each other.
The sitemap generation is performed asynchronously in order not to freeze the UI, and can be canceled anytime.
The layout of UI options has been revisited to fit all options and make it clearer.
Images sitemaps can also be generated from Tabular View, Export to XML Sitemap.
macOS version beta extended
The biggest part of the work behind the scenes of "Space Eagle" has been getting the macOS version of Visual SEO Studio to be on par with the Windows version.
It now is much more stable and many UI-freezing issues are part of the past.
We decided to extend the Beta phase of the Mac version. If you already registered the free Trial period with the Mac version, you may have received an email to inform you they Trial period was extended as well. Despite what the UI suggests, Mac users are getting up to 60 days of free evaluation instead of 15.
Conclusions, and what's next
Changes do not end here. We also added Usability Experience improvements, minor performance gains and important bug fixes to make your favorite SEO tool increasingly better!
For a full list of the changes, please consult the Release Notes.
Our plan is to launch the paid Mac version in September/October.
The team has worked around the clock to pursue this goal and paving the way for other new features we are looking forward to announce.
Part of the team will have some well deserved holidays, while the other part will be active to ensure as always full technical support to the paying users and continue development.
Since after the release of the wonderful Images Inspector you have started optimizing for your website images. Now it's time to make the search engine know about your work.
Launch Space Eagle and create your XML Image Sitemaps now!