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Sitemap

What is Sitemap?

A sitemap is used by webmasters to let the search engine know that the website and its pages can be crawled. Google first introduced sitemaps in 2005. 

A sitemap lists all the URLs of web pages that the search engine can crawl and index for displaying as search engine results. A sitemap is an XML file and it contains several pieces of information including:
  1. When the web page was last updated 
  2. How often it is changed 
  3. What is its importance in comparison to other web pages on the website 

Why Is Sitemap Important?

Help search engine bots

If the website is too large there is a chance that the web crawler might miss new or updated content. It is also possible that the pages on your website may not be linked properly and a sitemap comes in handy in such situations. 


In other words, a sitemap aids in search engine optimization. It makes it easier for Google, as well as other search engines, to find your website’s content and display them as search results.

Best Practices For Creating Sitemap?

1. A Sitemap can have a maximum of 50000 URL's 

2. Sitemap file should be less than 50 MB. 

3. Compress the sitemaps. This saves bandwidth. 

4. You can have more than one sitemaps. 

XML Schema of Sitemap?

This example contains just one URL. 


<urlset>

<url> 

<loc>http://www.samplewebsite.com/</loc> 

<lastmod>2017-01-01</lastmod> 

</url> 

</urlset>

Things To Keep In Mind?

1. A sitemap begins with the tag <urlset> and ends with </urlset> 

2. The <url> tag is used to define the entry to each URL 

3. The <loc> tag defines the location of each page on the website by mentioning the URL All these three tags are mandatory. In addition to these, there are optional tags. 


For example, 


1. <lastmod> can be used to define the last date on which the URL was last modified 

2. <changefreq> can be used to define how often the page is likely to change. 


The values that are valid for this tag include


• hourly

• daily

• weekly

• monthly

• yearly

• always

• never 

Keep Learning more from our Learn Technical SEO guides
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