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What is a Sitemap and Yes You Need One

SitemapWhat is a sitemap and why do you need one?  Well, have you ever tried to go to some unknown place without directions, a map, or GPS?   It makes life difficult.  It is the same with your website.  Search engines may have trouble finding your site if you do not have a sitemap.

Luckily, it’s quick and easy to create and submit an XML sitemap to Google.

In our next post, we are going to walk you through how to do it, step by step.

But first, let’s cover a few important basics.

What is a sitemap?

A sitemap is an XML file listing all the important content on your website. Any page or file that you want to show up in search engines should be in your sitemap.

Google discovers new content by crawling the web.  When they go to your site and crawl a page, they pay attention to both internal and external links on the page. If a discovered URL is not in their search index, they can parse its contents and index it where appropriate.

But Google can’t find all content this way. If a web page isn’t linked by other known pages, Google may never find it.

This is where sitemaps step in to change the picture.

Sitemaps tell Google (and other search engines) where to find the most important pages on your website so they can crawl and index them.

Search engines must first index your content before they can rank it.   So if they can’t index and rank, you won’t ever stand a chance to be on the first or second page of Google.

In the next post, we will go into the steps of creating your sitemap and submitting it to Google. So stay tuned.

Other Posts of Interest

Other posts you might find interesting regarding search engines.

How to Set Up Google Alerts

Submit Your Website To Online Directories

How to Submit Your Site to Bing

Optimize Your Site for Search Engines Other Than Google