What Is A Sitemap And Why It Is Important?

  Published on March 09 |   5 minutes read

What is a Sitemap?

Search engines find websites and add them to their index, Sitemaps help in making this happen. When it comes to Google’s algorithm, many factors affect the level of recognition a website gets. Site maps are one such factor. Search engines consider them to be an important variable for understanding the meaning of a website.

The pages within a website, when better recognized by Google, will be able to generate more traffic and have higher levels of ranking. Sitemaps are essentially a blueprint of websites. They help organize the content and its different categories in a manner that Google is able to understand what a website is all about.

This is why they are important for indexing; once Google knows what exactly a website offers, it gets indexed accordingly. Sitemaps are built on platforms such as word press. They can be customized to make sure that the desired parameters of the creator are set. The limit of indexed pages and links can all be set through this.

Why are Sitemaps Important?

While websites don’t have an obligation for a sitemap, having one will definitely help Search engine optimization. Well-organized sitemaps will help users to get attracted to websites, as Google will consider websites with better sitemaps as high value.

This added recognition and indexing will lead to users getting recommendations, and the website will appear in the high rankings on SERPs. It is imperative to understand that Google finds Web-pages mostly through links. Websites that are new and have relatively few backlinks can benefit monumentally from Sitemaps, as they help Google in finding the Web-pages.

Even websites having a huge number of external links can benefit from Sitemaps. The links won’t get jumbled up, and Google will be able to understand the intent behind each page.

Types of Sitemaps

Following are some important types of sitemaps

XML Sitemaps

The most common type of Sitemaps being used today is normal XML sitemaps. These sitemaps link the different pages present on a website. Almost every website utilizes them for creating their navigation system etc.

Video Sitemaps

They are used for the video content on the website, specifically for making Google understand what the video is about.

Image sitemaps

They are used for helping Google understand what the images on a website are about.

News sitemaps

They allow content that is suitable for Google news to be displayed on Google news is selected through this.

Which Type of Sitemaps is Best?

Each type of content has its subsequent sitemap, and this helps Google in differentiae different levels of content. If videos or images aren’t properly site-mapped and do not have tags, they will go unrecognized. If content does not get any recognition, it will not generate organic traffic. Google will not be able to understand what the page’s content has, and that will make the webpage appear of low value.

How to create Sitemaps?

Sitemaps can be created using various tools. Word press is a great platform for creating them. When a sitemap is built on word press, there are many customizations that can be done on it. This is why it is a great tool to utilize in this regard. Once a finalized Sitemap has been created, it is time to submit it to Google. After submitting the sitemap, the creators receive a report.

The sitemap report will help in spotting errors. If there are no errors, then the sitemap will get processed completely, and that will be stated in the sitemap report. A coverage report is also available where one can view factors such as incoming traffic, consistency of it, etc.

Sitemaps also help in solving problems with indexing problems as well. A sitemap gives you an estimated limit of the number of indexed pages. Basically, you can check the pages that have been indexed, and if they do not meet the number of indexed pages that you wanted to get, well, then there is a problem.

Most likely, it will be that the number of indexed pages has reached its maximum crawl limit. It is also good practice to send clear information to Google. Using robots.txt or “no-index” on a page will show Google that the page is not to be indexed. If you want a page to be indexed but it’s marked with either of those, Google will reach the page but will then get blocked a have no access.

Sitemaps need to be kept under 50mbs, and this limit is given by Google and Bing. Large websites sitemaps need to be broken down into parts. The dates that are being entered also need to be accurate as wrong dates may cause errors.

Conclusion

Sitemaps are important for Google to be able to understand what websites are about. The different web pages that a website contains will only make sense to Google begetter if they have a proper sitemap. The content on a website can also be easily included in the sitemap; each category of content has its own sitemaps. Using sitemaps properly will result in better search engine optimization.

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Editor

Editorial Staff at Scalable Media is a team of SEO experts led by M. Farasat Khan. We have been helping SaaS businesses scale through performance led SEO strategies.

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