Before we get into what the benefits are of a Google sitemap it is important to understand what a sitemap actually is. A sitemap is a graph that represents the architecture of a web site. It can be a web page that lists pages on a web site or a tool for planning a web design. Organised in a hierarchical fashion, a sitemap helps search engine bots and visitors to find its pages – an XML file that lists the URL's for a website.
A sitemap also allows you to include additional information about each particular URL such as, how often it changes, how important it is relating to other URL's on the site, and when it was last updated. When you submit a sitemap to a search engine, it does not replace the search engines existing crawling mechanisms, it does however, allow for the search engine crawlers to crawl your website more effectively.
Six Reasons Why You Should Use Google Sitemaps
- The sitemaps allow you, the webmaster, to alert Google directly of any changes or additions made to your website. How often a search engine visits your website depends how often your web content is changed and you alert them of the update.
- RSS, Blog, and Ping are not direct methods of alerting search engines. Sitemaps are designed to alert and direct search engine crawlers to your website.
- The Internet is huge and growing bigger everyday which means a longer wait time for search engine spiders to find, crawl and index your website. Google sitemaps alert Google to any change and directs crawlers to that exact page.
- Without using Google sitemaps you are risking the chance of your website being hard to find by search engine crawlers or possibly never being found.
- With Google sitemaps there is no wondering and waiting to see when the search engine spiders crawl your web pages.
- Using Google sitemap is FREE.
The main reason Google introduced sitemaps, back in June of 2005, was so web developers could publish their list of links from across their websites. If you have a website, why not give using Google sitemaps a try? If you have tried other ways to optimise your website without getting good results maybe this is the answer you have been waiting for.