AÂ site mapÂ (orÂ sitemap) is a list of pages of a web site accessible to crawlers or users. It can be either a document in any form used as a planning tool forÂ Web design, or aÂ Web pageÂ that lists the pages on aÂ Web site, typically organized in hierarchical fashion.
What is a Sitemap and how does it work?
There are two different types of site maps: xml and html sitemaps.
What is XML and HTML?
Extensible Markup LanguageÂ (XML) is aÂ markup languageÂ that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in aÂ formatÂ that is bothÂ human-readableÂ andÂ machine-readable.Â In 2005, Google introduced the xml sitemap.
How do you create a xml sitemap?
If your site is built on a WordPress platform, there are several plugins you can use that will create sitemaps for you.Â If you need to create the sitemap yourself, checkout xml-sitemaps.com, a free sitemap generator tool.
There are different types of xml sitemaps you can create, depending on your site and the type of content it contains:
- Basic web pages
- Image sitemaps
- Video sitemaps
- News sitemaps
Make sure to Add your Sitemap to your Robots.txt File
Itâ€™s a good idea to reference your sitemap in your robots.txt file (typically located in your siteâ€™s root folder) by adding the following code:Â Sitemap: http://www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml
How do you Submit a Sitemap to Google?
Go to Google WebmastersÂ Â http://www.google.com/webmasters.Â If you donâ€™t have a Google account, create one.Â If you do, login and click on â€œAdd a siteâ€, and enter the URL of your web site.
Google will ask you to verify you are the owner of the site.Â You can do this by uploading a file Google provides to the root of your site, where your home page resides.Â Once the site has been uploaded, click on â€œVerifyâ€.
Once verified, click on the website you just added and choose â€œSitemapsâ€ > â€œSubmit a Sitemapâ€ button.Â Enter in the sitemap.xml file name.
It will take a few days to update all of the web siteâ€™s info.Â Check back and Google will provide you with all sorts of useful details about yours site.Â Youâ€™ll be able to see the number of pages Google has indexed, monitor the health of your site by viewing â€œcrawlâ€ stats and errors, blocked URLs, and more.
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