What is a Sitemap ? It’s Types, Description & Usefulness.

Today we are going to discuss about sitemaps, its importance, description and fewer details as  it helps bloggers basically newbie’s a lot. So many of us when starts blogging got messed up when we came to know that google or other search engines were not showing our site or links and pages associated with them in their result. Finally when we Google for it we came to about lots of reasons and obviously one of the top of them being the sitemap submitting. First questions which arises in our mind is that ‘what is a sitemap?’

 

In this article we are going to understand what basically a sitemap is and how a basic user or newbie can get benefits from that. So let’s come to the point.

Sitemaps – Sitemaps are defined as a file or document such as .xml, .html or .txt which contains a list of all pages of a website. It is an easy way for bloggers, site owners or we can say webmasters to inform different search engines about their website content that which pages are available for crawling so that it would get indexed easily and search engines shows them in their result which all of us wants.

When we search or google something over internet google comes up thousand’s of different results associated with our search keywords, this all gets done as google crawlers keep crawling different pages over internet, and gets us the best according to our needs. No, I am not saying that all websites which google show in their results contains sitemap but trying to make you understand that it’s being an effective way to get your pages discovered by google if they are not easily discoverable.

Google bots in general index your website pages over multiple visits and comes again and again to observe changes. Sitemap provides structure of your site to them.

Most widely used sitemaps are XML and HTML which are discussed below

XML sitemap – XML sitemap is defined as a document containing structured data which is not used by a user but for a search engine which lists URL’s or pages of a website, tells search engine about their importance to each other, Updating frequency etc. so that they are able to crawl the website more easily and intelligently.

HTML sitemap – HTML sitemap are defined as type of document which is designed for users (not such as XML which is designed for search engines bots) to find content on a web page. It is actually a snapshot or we can say a page which outlines the complete structure of a website. ( Blog archive which contains all post links month wise is an example to understand HTML sitemap).

Sitemaps help search engine bots and crawlers to discover new pages on a website many times but they doesn’t guarantee it. I mean to say that submitting a site map doesn’t guarantee a webmaster that his site or pages are discovered by them.

Let’s hear what Google says about sitemaps

Sitemaps are particularly helpful if:

  • Your site has pages that aren’t easily discovered by Googlebot during the crawl process – for example, pages featuring rich AJAX or Flash.
  • Your site is new and has few links to it. (Googlebot crawls the web by following links from one page to another, so if your site isn’t well linked, it may be hard for us to discover it.)
  • Your site has a large archive of content pages that are not well linked to each other, or are not linked at all.

Unless you fall into one of those cases, therefore, having a Sitemap will not be “particularly helpful” for your site.

From the above article I think we all have got a basic idea about sitemaps.

Please Share it! 🙂

 

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