Why Add a Sitemap
I’ve just spent some time today discussing the online marketing of one of their client websites with a local web design agency. One of the topics they asked about was Google sitemaps, so I thought I’d repost this article relating to the benefits of adding a sitemap.
It is extremely important for search engines to have their serch engine index up to date. That is why Google, MSN, Yahoo, and Ask jointly support the sitemaps protocol. The simplest form of a sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site, along with additional metadata about each URL (when it was last updated, how often it changes, and how important it is relative to other URLs across the site) so that search engines can crawl the site more intelligently.
Sitemaps supplement and do not replace the existing crawl-based mechanisms search engines use to discover URLs. And using the Sitemaps protocol does not guarantee the indexing of all Web pages. However, a sitemap provides crawlers with hints that help them do a better job of crawling the site.
The main benefits of a Sitemap from the SEO point of view are that with a sitemap search engines can crawl pages that aren’t otherwise discoverable and you can give search engines information about pages priority with optional tag in the sitemap. This can help them to order the crawling of the Web site based on priority information
In addition to providing more intelligent navigation for search engines, sitemaps are useful as a secondary navigation aide. Research studies confirm that a sitemap is an important benefit for visitors because it gives them an overview of the site’s areas at a single glance. Besides being dedicated to the visualisation of the information architecture, sitemaps act as a guide to a Web site.
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