Why Sitemap is Important for Search Engine Optimization

Search Engines comes to know about the pages on the website through XML sitemaps. Its is also true that Search Engines can find web pages based on backlinks from other websites. As the Search Bot is crawling and indexing millions of pages an XML sitemap can help to crawl a website more effectively.

The Sitemap for a website need to be updated regularly whenever there is an increase in number of pages. The web pages in the website is listed in the order of importance through specific markup inside the XML sitemap. The frequency upon which the content is updated also is given at the top of the XML Sitemap. Google does not guarantee the inclusion of all pages in its index which is given in the XML sitemap.

The fullform of XML is Extensible Markup Language which is a type of Markup Language which was commonly used for web pages for sharing information through tags. The XML tags <urlset> and
<url> are used for formatting  and <loc> is used for identifying the URL.

Optional Meta Tags include <lastmod> for knowing last modified date and <changefreq> which is about the web page changing frequency. Sometimes <priority> tag is given to denote the importance of page from the root domain on a scale of zero to one.

A common XML Sitemap will be having the following structure.

< urlset >
< url>
< loc>http://www.schneideit.com/</loc>
< lastmod>2015-01-01</lastmod>
< changefreq>monthly</changefreq>
< priority>1.0</priority>

The XML sitemap can be submitted through Google Search Console and it is also possible to see the last downloaded sitemap by Google. Once an XML sitemap is uploaded and the site is crawled it can be seen through the Google Search Console. The links obtained to the website and the number of recently indexed pages can also be seen through Google Search Console.

Creation of XML sitemap by giving proper priority for the top pages is necessary while doing new design or redesign of the website. It can be used as a guiding point to tell search engines about the importance of the web page and hence it is considered as an essential part of search engine optimization.

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