Undeniable Reasons to Use an XML Sitemap
Get pages indexed and prioritized quickly and efficiently by using your websites’ XML sitemap.
Are you using an XML sitemap on your website? Short for Extensible Markup Language, this otherwise simple document offers several key benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked. To learn more about XML sitemaps and the benefits they offer, keep reading.
Sitemaps: the Basics
A sitemap is a type of protocol that’s used to inform search engines about the different webpages within a website and where those pages are located. Assuming it’s created in XML format – and most are – webpages are displayed in a convenient, easy-to-read list format. They are classified as a URL inclusion protocol and element of the robots.txt file.
More Pages Indexed
Among the most notable benefits of using an XML sitemap is a greater number of pages indexed in the search results. Google, Bing, Yahoo and even the lowered tiered search engines all work by crawling the Internet and following links. If there are few-to-no links pointing to a particular webpage, however, they won’t know that it exists, in which case it’s unlikely that it will be indexed. Using an XML sitemap allows webmasters to tell search engines where their webpages are located; thus, allowing for a greater number of indexed pages.
Ajax, Silverlight, Flash Content
If your website contains rich content in the form of Ajax, Silverlight and/or Flash, search engines may have trouble processing it. The good news is that you can encourage search engines to crawl and index pages on which this content is published by creating an XML sitemap.
How to Create an XML Sitemap
You might be surprised to learn that XML sitemaps can be created manually, although an easier solution – especially when dealing with large sites – is to automate the process with a tool/service like https://www.xml-sitemaps.com.
To recap, XML sitemaps are used to tell search engines how many pages are located within a website, where those pages are located, and which pages are most important. There’s no rule stating that you must create a sitemap, but doing so will almost certainly prove beneficial for the reasons mentioned above.