As the name suggests Sitemap, the map of your site (website). A crawler is given direction by sitemap.
By crawling I mean fetching information from your website and getting it indexed.
More about Google working click here.
If you don’t have a Map for your website, it will get crawled but not in an efficient manner as s website with a map.
” We have replaced Sitemap with the word “map” to match required keyword density”
We can take a real-life example here we visit a new place and start exploring it and we don’t have any map, we will definitely get confused and may not be able to explore it effectively.
When we have a Map, the beauty of that place will be explored by it more efficiently.
The same way crawler is helped by sitemap to crawl each part of the website containing post, images, video, infographics, internal links etc.
Important: Whenever new content is created and uploaded map needs to updated and ask Google to crawl.
A website is periodically crawled by Google but if crawling is to be done immediately then in Google Webmaster crawler can be called to crawl your website.
Google Sitemap Generator and Yoast SEO Plugin will be explained by me in detail which helps us in creating a Sitemap for a WordPress website.
For Non-WordPress website search on Google the best map for your platform which works under Google guidelines.
Important: Sitemap is not a static file means its need to be updated every time you create a new post or update your existing post.
Before getting into the topic let’s have a clear understanding of what not to include on the map of your website:
- Duplicate content
- Thin Content
- Pages that are blocked by Robots.txt file
The best way to exclude them is to either “no-index” them or put them all in a single category and exclude it.
So, we have two tools to generate i.e. Google Sitemap Generator Plugin and Yoast SEO plugin
The plugin is available for free in the WordPress plugin repository. Download and install it and then – move to Setting – Sitemaps.
- Put more attention to the option checked by me other left options should be the least priority.
- Now click Update
- Check if it is created at www.domainname.com/sitemap.xml
Note: Always include a sitemap in Robots.txt file because when Google crawler visits your website it always checks for Robots file first before visiting any other link of your website.
- In your WordPress plugin section download and installs Yoast SEO plugin
- Click SEO – Sitemap
- Check the box with enable sitemap option
- Go to the various options like Post types, taxonomies tick the option which you do not want to include in the sitemap and we are good to generate a sitemap
- Go to General tab – Save Changes, bingo sitemap generated now let’s update the same in Google search console.
So, as explained above keep your sitemap link in Robots.txt file and the other way to do it and submit the link to Google is via Google Webmaster.
Tip: Submit it on both places for quick and efficient results.
- Open the C-Panel of your hosting provider
- Scroll down to files
- Click on File Manager
- Upload Sitemap.xml file
- Click refresh and it has been uploaded successfully
- Login to Google search console
Note: If you do not have Google Webmaster account, then Sign up and connect your website with Webmaster before following the below steps.
Click here for more info.
- Click SITEMAPS under CRAWL.
- Click the button ADD/TEST SITEMAP located in the top right corner.
- Type in your sitemap filename (i.e. sitemap.xml) and click the Test SITEMAP button.
- Once the test is successful click on submit Sitemap button
Note: Check you sitemap extension by visiting General tab of Yoast SEO and click on test.
Generally, it takes Google a few days to a week to completely crawl your website, you can come back to Google search console to see the updates about how many pages get indexed and other related information.
- Google will quickly come to know about new updates on your website
- Google comes to know how often each page is updated with last modified option checked while creating it.
- Internal linking gets indexed quickly
- Improved SEO and overall Page Ranking
RSS feed: RSS feeds are the files which contain latest files that you have updated on your website.
Dynamic Website: These are the website which changes its content dynamically or regularly. For example a sports website.
RSS feed will let Google know about the latest updates in the website, the size of RSS feed will be smaller as compared to sitemaps because it will only contain the new updates files
Whenever you create it always remember to include those pages/files which are of rich unique content and hold a higher value rather than low-quality content.
The reason is simple when crawler visits your website and you have listed low-quality content.
It might make Google think that this is not the website that user should be visited for this keyword.
Always try to include or prioritize the following type of content in your map:
- Unique Content
- Including images and videos
- Emphasize comments and based on reviews
This is quite a problem for bigger websites like E-Commerce who have a lot of pages to monitor and contains dynamic content which gets regularly updated makes it harder for the user to maintain it.
When Google comes to your website and let’s say out of 20,000 pages 5000 were not indexed this will put really a bad impression when it comes to search engine ranking.
One of the solutions to this problem can be to segregate pages and generate a separate map for all then test them for possible errors.
Make the error pages “no index” and improve your page rank and domain authority.
This is really important for a product based website where you have a product with the same name but with slight varieties.
In this case, you must use “link rel=canonical” tag to tell Google which is the main category to crawl and index.
Noindex pages are those which you do not want Google to crawl them and by providing its URL in the sitemap you are doing a non-sense task.
Always double sure that you are giving quality information links to it for better results.
Learn | Implement | Success: Break the wall between them and add them to get better knowledge out of any article.
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