A site map is a list 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 a web page that lists the pages on a web site, typically arranged in hierarchical fashion. This helps visitors and search engine automatic robots find pages on the site.
While some developers argue that site index is a rather more suitably used term to relay page function, web visitors are accustomed to seeing each term and typically associate both as one and the same. Nevertheless a site index is commonly used to mean an A-Z index that offers access to particular content, while a site map gives a general top-down view of the final site contents.
Google introduced Google Sitemaps so website developers can publish catalogues of links from across their sites. The fundament idea is that some sites have a sizeable number of dynamic pages that are available only through the usage 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 custom.
Since Bing, Yahoo, Ask, and Google use the same protocol, having a Sitemap lets the 4 largest search websites 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 engine to learn about your whole site.
XML Sitemaps have replaced the older strategy of "submitting to search engines" by filling out a form on the search engine's submission page. Now internet development experts submit a Sitemap immediately, or wait for search engines to find it.
XML ( Extensible Markup Language ) is far more precise than HTML coding. Mistakes aren't endured, and so syntax must be precise. It is advised to use an XML syntax validator like 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 complex sites.
More information outlining the field operations and other Sitemap options are defined at http://www.sitemaps.org ( Sitemaps.org : Google, Incorporated, Yahoo, Incorporated, and Microsoft Co. )
See also Robots.txt, which can sometimes be used to identify sitemaps on the server.
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