Before we can understand XML sitemaps, we have to gain an understanding of what search engine optimization is. Search engine optimization or SEO is a process through which you increase the web visibility of your site and drive more traffic to it. You can do this by embedding certain keywords at strategic places on your site. One does SEO to increase their rankings on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). However, all this will not be possible if your sit does not reach Google’s massive database at all.
Before you even think of performing SEO on your site, you should learn to use XML sitemaps. XML sitemaps ensure that your site gets spotted by search engine crawlers and bots. Once the site it spotted, the bots go on and index your site. Now what exactly are XML sitemaps? Well, you can imagine them as a bright bulb of light which attracts crawlers from all over the web. The sitemap has a list of all the pages on your site and this list is exposed to the crawlers once they come.
However, XML sitemaps function on a very complex protocol. It is not as simple as creating a list and handing it over to the crawlers. These protocols are strictly followed and can be found on websites such as www.sitemap.org if anyone wants to have a look. Apart from the list of pages, XML sitemaps also contain more detailed information such as picture and video license information, time of activity information and so on.
Though all kind of websites need XML sitemaps to attain success on the net, startup websites need them the most. As new websites have very few references and links, they can carve a nice for themselves with the help of XML sitemaps. Apart from helping crawlers to index the site, they also explain the structure of the site. All the information on a sitemap has to be coded in carefully.
Now, let us gain an understanding of how XML sitemaps work? When the list of pages is submitted to Google, the user has to make sure that there is no other data on that list. Once the file is clear of redundant data it can be submitted to Google with the help of webmaster tools. Another thing with XML sitemaps is that it can neither be larger than 50 MB in size nor have more than 50,000 URLS. In case the data exceeds the above specified norms, the best thing to do would be to send multiple XML sitemaps to the search engine’s directory.
All said and done, XML sitemaps should not be thought of as replacements for expert knowledge. XML sitemaps cannot do as much as an SEO expert can do for you and your website. Although XML sitemaps are made automatically, SEO experts provide you with the freedom to customize your SEO campaign according to the changing situations. This is something a sitemap cannot do for you. An XML sitemap is only useful for initial recognition and traffic gain.
Moreover, hiring the services of an SEO company can help you create more sitemaps. Professional SEO companies have professional coders and SEO experts who can create new and customized XML sitemaps which can help search engine crawlers index your site more accurately and efficiently. All in all, XML sitemaps can be thought of as visiting cards of the internet or virtual visiting cards. This is so because crawlers know where to visit once your website has an XML sitemap or sitemaps. Now you know everything there is to know about XML sitemaps, their significance and their workings.
Author Bio:- Shane is an expert coder who specializes in creating XML sitemaps for SEO India. He works with one of the leading digital agencies in his city and heads a team of 10 coders.