When you talk about optimizing a site, there are lot many ways and tricks which you can use for it. But from my point of view, there is a way whose importance is mostly underestimated. We call it Sitemaps. This is one of the most important and fruitful way to optimize a site. Sitemap is nothing but in simple terms, as the name suggests is “Map of the Site“. Just as, if you need to roam an unknown city and you have a map of the city, so then it won’t be that tough to roam. Similarly if you have a sitemap of the site, it makes the navigation of the site easier for the human readers and the search spiders. It works in a way exactly opposite to robots.txt file. Robots file tell the SEs which part of the site to exclude from indexing, while sitemap tells which path to follow for indexing.
Sitemap has never been a new concept. It is followed from ages as a standard to follow when designing the website. But before web masters did not give it that importance. But now the time has come when the sitemap is considered as an important way by the search robot to index the site and rank it. So now we can say that sitemap plays an important role in the SEO of the website. So it is now gaining major importance. Yahoo and MSN helps to generate the sitemap, but now they are considered traditional and old fashioned. Google provides to generate the sitemap in a specific format (XML) which is easily readable by search engine spiders and crawlers.
So now we can say that there can be two sitemaps for a site. One is in the normal text format that is readable by the humans, and one in the special XML format that is readable by the SE and spiders. Also don’t worry about the duplicate content issue if you have two sitemap for the same site, as Google itself has declared that web-masters have two sitemaps for the same site won’t be penalized by it.
Usefulness of the sitemap in SEO
- the main benefit is the navigation and the visibility by the humans and the search engines. You just need to generate the sitemap and submit it to SEs. This will make the indexing of the site faster by SE.
- Without sitemap you need to rely more on the external links to the site that helps the search engine to find and index your site. So having a sitemap makes you independent to rely on external backlinks .
- If you have a new site or your site is constantly updated with large number of new pages then sitemap is the best way to make the SEs aware about the updates to your site.
- It easily helps to bifurcate and classify the data.
- Now a days all the SEs are changing there sitemap algorithm, so in near future sitemap is going to get lot of importance by the search engines.
The only thing that you need to do is to generate the sitemap using any third party tool easily available on the internet and submit it to the search engine. And then leave the rest to the search engines and get relaxed. So if you trust my words and you don’t have a sitemap of your site, and then this is the ripe time to get is done.