XML Sitemaps for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

  • By: Cris M.
  • Jan 24, 2013
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Even though Google is a huge machine that employs an endless number of features and tools to help the entire content of web data to become visible and indexed, this system is not perfect yet. Perhaps the reasons for this are the website data update procedures that take some time to generate, inactivity of pages, or poor visibility of content on a website. These reasons might significantly influence the productivity of Google’s crawlers sent to inspect your web site.

XML sitemaps
XML Sitemap

     (source: freepik)

Luckily, XML Sitemaps are there to help you get things right. Sitemaps lead Google’s way to your URLs and assist it seek and index all your web site’s pages (or at least those that were overlooked by Google for any reason). This literally means that you lend a helping hand to the crawling machinery, which is both neat and useful.

What are the other features of Sitemaps?

Being of service to Google, Sitemaps can also help with additional metadata about particular types of ‘ingredients’ of your website, incorporating other media such as news, images, video, or mobile. In doing so, they can frame detailed information about a picture, for example – such as size, number of pixels, alignment, and so forth. You can even itemise any other attribute of your website. This piece of additional information could be the time of the last data refresh on your pages or any other kind of change you have made lately.

XML-sitemaps
XML Sitemaps – Example

     (source: wikipedia)

When are Sitemaps particularly welcome?

XML Sitemaps are very useful for sites with active data, or newly developed websites with only a few links. A good example of this are dynamic e-commerce sites, where a site may have 10,000+ products which are updated (added / removed) and published every morning. Rebuilding the XML file which lists each and every product/category on a daily or at least weekly basis will help keep Google’s records up to date. Also, this is useful for sites with many pages that are not well connected internally. Finally, XML Sitemaps help Google robots find pages that were hard to detect.

Google_Spiders
Google Spiders

(source: alphacoders)

Bear in mind that these Google tools work the best they can, however, the complete success is not promised due to various reasons. The good thing about it is that Sitemaps will significantly assist the tools to get to know more about your site’s concept and develop an improved experience for future crawling processes.

Do XML Sitemaps count for SEO?

Although Sitemaps help the browsing tools to generate more precise searches and positions of your website by supplying the information these tools yearn for, they do not affect the web site ranking directly nor are they much useful for search engine optimisation.

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