Ranking Goal

North Mandiri, Kali Mandir Buddha Colony, Patna, Bihar 800001

Call: +91 8092444404

Sitemaps: What is a Sitemap & Benefits of Sitemap in SEO?

Sitemaps: everything you need to know

As its name suggests, a sitemap is the map of a website and represents how it is structured, including the folders and sub pages that make it up. However, currently, webmasters do not necessarily use site maps to facilitate navigation for visitors since users already have other elements on the web that make the process simpler and more intuitive. Even so, these schematized files are by no means obsolete. But what are they really for, and how many types are there?

News Sitemap: Helps Google find content on sites that are approved for Google News.

What is a sitemap?

A sitemap (also known as a website map, site map, or web map) is a file that presents the hierarchical structure of all the sub pages that make up a website; that is, it provides an overview of it. Let’s imagine for a moment the design of a simple website: each of the HTML documents is stored in different folders and is connected using hyperlinks. All this is deposited in the web space. The pages are indicated next to their corresponding URLs on the site map.

In the early days of the World Wide Web, the web map facilitated navigation. On many occasions, they were inserted as an additional frame to the main content, allowing users to move from one page to another without clicking on the individual hyperlinks. But over time, navigation has become much more elegant. However, sitemaps have not lost their legitimacy because, in addition to increasing the usability of the web, they allow search engines to access its content.

Comparison: HTML vs. XML Sitemaps

Two different sitemaps can be distinguished mainly depending on whether they have an XML or HTML format. HTML sitemap will be used if you want users to access web maps. In this case, the site map will constitute one more document of the web and, as such, can be integrated into the web structure just like any other HTML page. For its part, XML sitemaps are designed for search engines. XML, like HTML, is a markup language, albeit with many more features.

Which of them should be used? The truth is that both have advantages and disadvantages. A navigation file in HTML format is useful for visitors, as the links allow them to navigate a website when looking for a result. The site map accompanies other web components, for example, the search function or the navigation bar, all of which are designed to improve the user experience. Therefore, it is an additional element that increases the usability of the web. Of course, they are no longer included as a framework and are instead made available to the user via a link in the page’s header or footer.

A web map written in XML language can be delivered to the Google Search Console to give the search engine a better understanding of the entire web. In addition, with this language, it is possible to create video sitemaps. It is very difficult for Google and other search engines to read the content of video files, which is why they depend on the information indicated in the metadata. If you want Google to integrate all the videos included on your website into the video search, you need to create a video sitemap. This is an XML file with information about each of the videos on the page: the title and description of the video files, the URL of the sub page you are on, the link to the thumbnails, and the location of the video player used. The same process is followed with images.

As a webmaster, it is not mandatory to opt for one format or another since it is possible to work with both simultaneously, thus offering the best results for both users and search engine spiders. In addition, although the XML sitemap is specially designed for search engines, search engines also use HTML web maps, as they present all the pages of a website to the spiders.

Sitemaps and SEO

Sitemaps play a very important role in search engine optimization. The reason? Search engines allow programs (spiders or web crawlers) to examine the Internet to index and organize it in the best possible way. When this type of program crawls a website, it follows the internal links to find out the content, but it is not guaranteed that it will be able to reach each of the sub pages, even more so if it is a very extensive website. XML or HTML sitemaps present the index of a website with all the sub pages to the search engine spider, facilitating indexing.

Websites that do not have a structure with correctly linked pages prevent the Google spider from accessing all their content. Therefore, a sitemap that contains the links to each sub page is very useful in these cases. Even so, Google does not guarantee that the spider will take into account each sub page, although the probability that it will do so is certainly much higher. This also happens when a relatively new website and no external links refer to it yet.

An XML sitemap offers search engines additional information about the page in question: the date of creation, the frequency with which it is edited, the relationship with the rest of the pages, and the relevance of the content concerning the entire web.

Although an HTML sitemap is often described as oriented to users and its XML counterpart to search engines, both are important in search engine rankings. Because these documents are taken into account when the web is indexed, sitemaps in HTML format impact Google’s ranking. Not to add that Google considers usability when determining a website’s ranking in search results. HTML site maps, as previously said, are a feature that enhances online surfing and hence increases its value.

How to create a sitemap

Creating a website map is very simple, even more so if you use a sitemap generator. Depending on the format you want to apply, the procedure varies. HTML sitemaps are, in principle, very easy to create since it only requires the user to have some basic knowledge of HTML, although those related to how to mark the links correctly are essential. Use the href attribute, which allows you to create a list of links. However, in practice, webmasters often go to greater lengths to create sitemaps and, for example, adapt their design to that of the rest of the website.

<li class=”lpage”><a href=”http://one-test.website/” title=”Theme Preview &#8211; Previewing Another WordPress Blog”>Theme Preview – Previewing Another WordPress Blog</a></li>

Theme Preview – Previewing Another WordPress Blog

<li class=”lpage”><a href=”http://one-test.website/about-us” title=”About us &#8211; Theme Preview”>About us – Theme Preview</a></li>

<li class=”lpage”><a href=”http://one-test.website/our-projects” title=”Our Projects &#8211; Theme Preview”>Our Projects – Theme Preview</a></li>

<li class=”lpage”><a href=”http://one-test.website/sample-page” title=”Sample Page &#8211; Theme Preview”>Sample Page – Theme Preview</a></li>

<li class=”lpage”><a href=”http://one-test.website/shop” title=”Products &#8211; Theme Preview”>Products – Theme Preview</a></li>

Creating the sitemap files in XML format is somewhat more complex: the sitemap starts with a <urlset> tag, where the standard protocol is indicated. Next, please include as many <url> tags as there are links you want to write in the sitemap, although the link to the sub page itself is enclosed in a <loc> tag. While this data is required, you can optionally include the following tags: <changefreq> (frequency of edition), <lastmode> (date of last change) or <priority> (importance of the page).

<urlset xmlns=”http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9″></urlset>









Anyone who wants to simplify the process can avoid writing the sitemap by hand by using a sitemap generator. After entering the main URL of the web, the sitemap generator crawls the entire web and creates an index with all the pages that make it up. These web services are available for both HTML and XML, and some of them are even capable of directly creating different types of web maps. In some content management systems such as WordPress, users can use specific plugins designed to create sitemaps for that website.

Google recommendations for sitemaps

Although the appearance of the navigation document can be determined quite freely, Google sets some conditions for sitemaps that must be respected if they are to improve the search ranking of the web. A web map must be encoded in UTF-8, contain no more than 50,000 URLs, and must not exceed 50 MB. This size limit applies to uncompressed files, so you can opt for compression to reduce the size if these exceed the established MB.

In the case of a very extensive website, Google proposes to create several site maps. Upon completion, an index file is created that links to all sitemaps and can be displayed to search engines.

Finally, there are two possibilities for Google to know the sitemap. On the one hand, you can upload the file directly to the Google Search Console, and on the other hand, you can submit a sitemap to the file in robots.txt. Keep in mind that the text file is specifically designed for search engines and spiders access it first when they crawl. With a link to the sitemap on the server, the search engine crawlers know where to look.

Leave a Comment