What is a Sitemap?
It is a file on your website where you give the entire information about the videos, pages and other files that are there on your website and the relationship that is between them. All the pages that are listed on the sitemap. Web crawlers generally crawl all the pages on their own time to time but with the help of a sitemap it can help the crawler by providing it the metadata and gives it the information on how often the page is making the changes (it suggests how often must be the pages crawled). By putting the pages on a sitemap, you also make it easy for the search engines to parse the content which can be in the form of image file descriptions or videos. You can add, view and conduct a Sitemap Test of a website by using the help of sitemaps report in the search console.
A sitemap will guide the crawler to crawl the specific pages which are important and should be crawled time to time.
You can also use a sitemap to provide information about some specific pages that will include video and images, like;
- A sitemap video entry will specifically mention the running time, age appropriateness rating and category of the video.
- A sitemap image entry will include the license, type and image subject matter.
Does your website need a sitemap?
If your website meets any of the below mentioned criteria, then it needs a sitemap;
Is your website too large?
If it is, then you need to list the pages on sitemap so that the chances that Google crawlers will overlook your website pages will reduce. Sitemaps will make sure that the new and the recent pages are crawled.
If your website has large archive of content pages that are not properly linked to each other or are isolated
If the pages on your website, do not naturally refer to one another then you can list them in a sitemap page to make it sure that Google does not overlook the pages.
Your website is new and has a very external links
Web crawlers which could be google bot or any other crawls only those specific web pages that are linked to one another. So, if the link pages are not connected then Google might not be able to discover your pages.
Submit a Sitemap for the first time
- Begin by testing your sitemap index before you submit it
- Click on add or test sitemap button
- In the text box enter a URL path. The URL entered must be relative to the website that has been defined by the property.
- Click on the submit option.
- Now, refresh your browser and see if the new sitemap has been added to the list of sitemaps.
- An option of for opening the new sitemap will appear click on it and check the sitemap details. After when you are done with this check if there are any errors or warnings there (it could be related to the URL or about the sitemap.
Point to Remember
Using a sitemap does not always guarantee that the sitemap page will be indexed or crawled as this process totally relies on the algorithms. However, it is still advised that you create a sitemap page as there are only benefits that you will get from creating one.