XML Sitemaps – The Secret to Getting into Search Engines

New web designers think that all it takes to get a high ranking in Google is to make a quality website filled with keywords. That is not the way it works: even if you have the best website in the world, it won’t be recognized by Google without indexing. That is one of the benefits of XML sitemaps.

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Importance and Purpose

To understand how maps work, you need to learn how websites get into Google and other search engines. These sitemaps are not the same maps you see on a website. These maps act like a light that draws the attention of Google’s crawlers and those of other search engines. These maps help ensure that engine crawlers find your site and index it.

The world of SEO is vast and complex. You can only get exposure and manipulate search engine results if your site has been indexed. It is these maps that are indexed by spider bots.

Properties

These maps are noticed by web crawlers due to their design. Each map contains a database of every page on your website. But it is more than just a list of every page link set on a text, although that may be enough for small websites. There is actually a sitemap protocol, although some websites use an RSS/Atom feed or a text file.

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A sitemap has more than just links and pages; the map also contains other types of information: source code, censor ratings, image license, subject and interactive media. The page update and Meta data may include info like last updated, time stamps and many others.

More about SEOs and Maps

SEO (search engine optimization) and sitemaps go together. But you need to submit the map first so your website gets into Google’s large database. You can try all sorts of SEO techniques and tricks, and it will be useless unless the sitemap was provided to Google. Once the map has been submitted, your website will be listed by the search engine. You can now proceed to use different SEO techniques to attract more visitors.

Why Submit Sitemaps?

The benefits of XML sitemaps can be realized even by new websites. New websites only have few links to it. That is another reason why it makes sense to submit a sitemap. Even large websites with unlinked pages or archives will gain much by submitting sitemaps. These maps will tell Google and other search engines that your website exists. Your website’s navigation and structure will also be explained.

Many websites, forums and blogs rely on Atom and Real Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds. These are useful, but they only provide the most recent data. However, sample text files with page URLs need UTF-8 encoding. If you’re going to use this, you need to be certain the file has only the relevant data. Once the file is ready, you can submit it to Google. There are many tools that can do this for you.

One more thing needs to be said concerning the benefits of XML sitemaps: it cannot have more than 50, 000 URLs or exceed 50 MB in size. To avoid this problem, it is a good idea to keep the file size manageable. If your website is large, you can submit an index file with several maps. Session IDs are not needed, but you have to use canonicalization because the URL syntax has to be similar.

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