A sitemap is a blueprint for your website that assists search engines in finding, crawling, and indexing all of its content. Sitemaps also inform search engines about the most important pages on your website. It acts like a map by guiding search engine crawlers through your page. This information is highly useful to crawlers. A sitemap is also known as an XML sitemap. There is information available in the sitemap that shows the frequency of page changes on one URL versus others on a website, but this is unlikely to have any effect on rankings.
Googlebot, a ‘crawler‘ program from Google, is used to access a sitemap. It possesses two primary functions. First, Googlebot navigates the web from page to page. It records information about the various links it visits and how they are related along the way. Google then uses this information to generate search results and determine which searches a specific piece of content is relevant for. Given Google’s enormous popularity and the importance of organic (search engine) traffic in general, you’ll want to do everything you can to assist this bot in understanding your site. This is where sitemaps come into play.
A sitemap is a file that no human visitors will ever see. It is meant for search engines exclusively and lists every page on your website. As simple as it looks, it is a tremendously useful tool, with the ability to help your webpage extensively.
According to Google’s documentation, sitemaps are useful for “really large websites,” “websites with large archives,” “new websites with only a few external links to it,” and “websites that use rich media content.” Proper internal linking should allow Google to easily find all of your content. Unfortunately, many websites do not give proper consideration to linking their content properly.
While larger websites will benefit the most from having a sitemap, they are useful for all websites. Every website requires Google to be able to easily find important pages and know when they were last updated.
Here is how you can check for a sitemap on your website
Add Sitemap.xml after your website domain name to check for a sitemap on your website.
For Example – https://f60host.com/sitemap.xml
There are 5 types of sitemaps, namely:
Because most websites do not come with a sitemap, you will need to create one. There are several ways to accomplish this, the most common of which are:
Technically, this step is optional. If you create a sitemap and upload it to your website, Googlebot will eventually find it. You can, however, speed up the process by instructing the bot to examine the new data as soon as possible. To accomplish this, you must submit your sitemap to Google Search Console. You can find your sitemaps in the ‘Sitemaps’ section. If not, you can add your sitemap at the top of the page.
The steps to add your sitemap via Google Search Console are as follows:
A sitemap is not a compulsory requirement. Googlebot (and other search engine bots) will almost certainly find and index your site on its own. However, this does not ensure that it will see everything you want it to see. These are where sitemaps come in.
A sitemap eliminates this concern by performing two main functions:
Sitemaps are critical for ensuring that Googlebot sees all of your content and understands how it is organized. For these reasons, developing one for your website is critical. And as we have seen, this isn’t too difficult or time-consuming.
And there you have it. We have seen everything you need to know about sitemaps, from the meaning and types to their benefits.
Now that you know why sitemaps are important for your website, go ahead and create one now! And for more blogs on SEO and other related topics, stay tuned to F60 Host.