What is a Sitemap?
A sitemap informs search engines that individual pages on your site are new or updated and are available for crawling. The sitemap protocol consists of an XML file that includes your website URLs and three other optional pieces of information for each page:
- How often the URL is updated.
- The last time the URL was updated.
- A priority of the URL relative to the other pages on the site.
Sitemaps help ensure all new and difficult-to-find pages are indexed quickly and completely, and are particularly useful for websites that are difficult for search engines to crawl and index effectively. Your website benefits from applying a sitemap if it:
- Is modified frequently.
- Contains a large database or archive of pages that may be accessible only through a search function.
Note: Using a sitemap does not ensure that search engines will pick up every page of your site, but it does provide hints for search engines to more intelligently crawl your site.
For additional information on sitemaps, visit sitemaps.org.