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Everything you should know about XML sitemap

Published:

Feb 7, 2023

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An XML sitemap is a website file that lists pages so that search engines can index them. When you are integrating services, you will most likely need to transform the data into a format that the receiving service can process.  It also provides extra information, like when the page was last updated.

Though having an XML sitemap is not a requirement, it can boost SEO as it helps search engines discover the new and updated pages.

 

Why is the XML sitemap important?

 

An XML sitemap is important because it allows the search engine crawlers to crawl your site without having links from other webpages on your site. Simply put, it tells engines the links inside your page and what to show. Having a sitemap can speed up the process of Google discovering your pages.

 

Most websites can benefit from using an XML site map. Even smaller websites that only consist of a few web pages.

 

What are its parts?

 

An XML sitemap will need to follow a certain standard format to be valid. The standard is:

 

  • An XML version declaration: used by search engine crawlers to determine what type of file they are reading.
  • The URL set: tells search engines about the protocol.
  • The URL: lists the URL of the page.
  • Lastmod: a date format showing when the page was last modified.

 

Best practices for the XML sitemap

  • Create and submit the sitemap to the relevant search engine tools immediately. This will help engines figure out the full scope of your content and, therefore, improve your site’s visibility.
  • Add only SEO-relevant pages to your XML sitemap to maximize the exposure of your high quality content.
  • Make sure to test your XML sitemap’s functionality and readability regularly, especially if you add new content to your website.
  • If you want some pages to not show in search results, block them. Search engines can still find web pages even if you omit the URL from the sitemap. So, to prevent them from showing such pages in search results, block the pages.
  • Finally, ensure the information for every page is correct. Make sure that the web address of the page matches the title and content.

 

We hope this article helps you have a fuller understanding of the XML sitemap and its relevance for search engines.

 

If you are looking to enhance your online presence or improve your website, we are here to help you. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

 

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