<< by Janet Driscoll Miller on March 12th, 2010
Every website needs one, but do you know much about how to create one and use it to your SEO advantage? Over the next several posts, I’ll be going more in depth about Google Sitemaps, why they’re important, and step-by-step on how to create and manage them.
What Are Google Sitemaps?
Google Sitemaps are XML-based sitemap files. These are different that the sitemaps you may use on your website, but essentially a similar concept. A Google Sitemap provides Google and other search engines with a guide to the pages on a website, how often they are updated, and the page’s priority on the site.
In Google’s words:
Sitemaps are a way to tell Google about pages on your site we might not otherwise discover. In its simplest terms, a XML Sitemap—usually called Sitemap, with a capital S—is a list of the pages on your website. Creating and submitting a Sitemap helps make sure that Google knows about all the pages on your site, including URLs that may not be discoverable by Google’s normal crawling process.
Why Are Google Sitemaps Important?
So why should you create a Google sitemap? First, creating and registering a Google Sitemap is considered a best practice for SEO. Essentially, a sitemap provides just another means for the search engine robots, including Googlebot, to find and index your website content.