A site map is a listing of pages of a web site accessible to crawlers or users. It can be either a document in any form used as a planning tool for website design, or an internet page that lists the pages on a web site, often organised in ordered fashion. This helps visitors and search site bots find pages on the site.
While some developers argue that site index is a rather more reasonably used term to relay page function, web visitors are familiar with seeing each term and generally associate both as one and the same. Nonetheless a site index is commonly used to mean an A-Z index that provides access to particular content, while a site map provides a general top-down view of the final site contents.
Google introduced Google Sitemaps so website developers can publish inventories of links from across their sites. The fundamental premise is that some sites have a substantial number of dynamic pages that are available only thru the utilisation of forms and user entries. The Sitemap files contains URLs to these pages so that web crawlers can find them. Bing, Google, Yahoo and Ask now jointly support the Sitemaps protocol.
Since Bing, Yahoo, Ask, and Google use the same protocol, having a Sitemap lets the four biggest search engines have the updated page information. Sitemaps don't guarantee all links will be crawled, and being crawled does not guarantee indexing. Nonetheless a Sitemap remains the best insurance for getting a search site to find out about your entire site.
XML Sitemaps have replaced the older method of "submitting to search websites" by filling out a form on the search engine's submission page. Now internet development experts submit a Sitemap at once, or wait for search engines to find it.
XML ( Extensible Markup Language ) is way more accurate than HTML coding. Mistakes are not endured, and so syntax must be precise. It is suggested to use an XML syntax validator e. G the free one found at : http://validator.w3.org
There are automated XML site map generators available ( both as software and web applications ) for more complicated sites.
Additional info defining the field operations and other Sitemap options are outlined at http://www.sitemaps.org ( Sitemaps.org : Google, Incorporated, Yahoo, Inc, and Microsoft Corporation )
See also Robots.txt, which can be utilized in identifying sitemaps on the server.
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