If you are out searching for SEO tips and tricks, you will be amazed at the number of tips and tricks available to help you optimize your site. One such trick is the using of sitemaps, which many people tend to underestimate. There are two types of sitemaps currently used by webmasters, HTML sitemaps and xml sitemaps. XML sitemaps are used exclusively for search engines and SEO purposes whereas HTML sitemaps are used for helping users navigate the website. If you want to gain more information regarding site map, click on the following link, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Site_map.
What are sitemaps?
As we can infer from the name, sitemaps are nothing but maps of your website. A sitemap will illustrate the structure of your website, the various sections in the site and the links that exist between them. By using sitemaps, navigation of your website is made easy, for users and for search engines. Many are not aware of the fact that sitemaps allow you to communicate with search engines. We use ‘robots.txt’ to give search engines info about the parts of your website that have to be excluded from indexing. Likewise, by using sitemaps you will inform search engines where you would like them to go. By clicking on the following link, you will be able to get more information regarding sitemaps http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sitemaps.
Sitemaps have been used in websites earlier too, but not as a trick for SEO. The conventional sitemaps will be great for the user to navigate in the website, but those conventional sitemaps may not be sufficient for search engines. As Google uses special XML format that is different to the conventional HTML sitemap, you will have to create a sitemap specifically for search engines. Most websites now have two sitemaps, one for the search engines and one for the users of the website.
Why you should use a sitemap?
- Sitemaps are beneficial to both users of the site and the webmaster as they provide many advantages.
- Sitemaps allow for easy navigation of the site for the users of the site.
- By using sitemaps, your website will have better visibility with the search engines.
- Sitemaps will give you the option to inform search engines of changes to you website quickly.
- Sitemaps help you to reduce your reliance on external links to bring traffic to you website.
- Sitemaps will help you detect broken links or orphaned pages in your website. This is the best option available for webmasters to ensure that their website does not have any broken links.
- If you have just launched a new website or have made significant changes to your website, sitemaps will help you to submit changes or the new site to search engines in an easier way.
- Sitemaps also help webmasters to classify the content in the website.
The advantages listed above will give you a reasonable idea on the importance of sitemaps in SEO. One has to remember that most of the sitemap programs used by search engines are still in beta. Therefore, huge improvements may not be seen while using sitemaps now. Nevertheless, as search engines work to improve the algorithms used in sitemap indexing, the advantage and benefits of using sitemaps will only increase in the future. Many experts feel that sitemaps will soon become the standard way for submitting websites to search engines.