A sitemap o site map is a structured representation of all the pages of a web. Both the structure of the site and the individual links between the pages can be listed. Two different types of sitemaps can be distinguished, HTML sitemaps and XML sitemaps.
HTML sitemaps can be used on webs as a list of all the subpages of a web portal. Typically the sitemap is archived on a separate subpage visible to all users. This site map is intended for users, who can be oriented on the basis of the navigation tree just like on a real map. Therefore, HTML sitemaps often resemble the absolutely displayed menu of that page. If the user clicks on a link to the sitemap, they will be sent directly to the linked subpage.
Importance of XML Sitemap for Search Engines
A Google sitemap provides search engines with a clearly structured overview of the existing pages on the web portal. Search engines have the option of crawling content more easily through structured data. At the same time, search engines can also specify page types based on metadata, such as news, images, and video content. Additionally, a separate video sitemap can be created specifically for video content.
Advantages of XML sitemaps
An XML sitemap can provide the following benefits for the site owner:
- Faster crawling of new pages.
- Hidden or poorly discernible content (Ajax, rich media).
- Orphaned or badly linked pages will be detected.
Submitting a sitemap no guarantee that the listed web pages are simply indexed. It is basically an indication to Googlebot that there are new web pages available to be crawled.
Submitting the XML sitemap in the Google Search Console
It is recommended to create a sitemap and submit it to the Google Search Console. This type of sitemap is typically created in the XML sitemap protocol, but can also be archived as an RSS feed or text file.
Benefits of sitemaps for SEO
Using the Sitemap, webmasters and SEOs can influence the crawling procedure of the web under their care. It is therefore a part of technical SEO. This procedure will not be visible to users because it runs on the backend. Rather, the HTML sitemap is visible on the site. For a long time, this type of sitemap was used to reinforce the internal relationship. Therefore, the link to the sitemap was normally placed on the main page, so that the robot could follow these links and, at the same time, distribute the juice link to the subpages. At the same time, this navigation structure served primarily as an orientation for users, since easy-to-use menus on the web were not yet common. Currently, it is questionable whether the HTML sitemap has a significant influence on the optimization of a page. It's more of a relic from the early days of the internet. The true purpose of providing an overview is also quickly lost for larger websites. Built-in search capabilities and a flat menu structure can absolutely replace the HTML sitemap as a user guide tool.