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What is a Sitemap?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 15 September 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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A sitemap, or site index, is a webpage that shows all the different pages the site possesses. If the site is huge, the sitemap may provide a general guide, not to each page, but to pages under certain subject headings. A lot of home pages for websites have a link to the page's sitemap. When you look at the map, you’ll see a number of links that let you know where to find each type of page.

The site index doesn’t have to be fancy. It you have a blog on music for instance, with lots of entries, you may have several pages with indices. A simple list could look like this:

    Home Page
    About This Site
    How To Contact us
    Post a Comment
    Contemporary Music
    Folk Music
    Classical Music

Each of these listings are linked to their relevant pages. Your sitemap listing on Contemporary Music could then lead to an index page on all topics in this subject. It can be extremely helpful to have a sitemap when you have a lot of pages, since it allows people to more easily navigate your site. You can use the map to look for not only subjects you want to find, but also to jump from different pages on a site. Many sitemaps contain a search function too, which can be accessed from the sitemap or the home page in order to allow people to search for key terms.

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While the search function is great, the sitemap can be even better, especially since people often enjoy being lead by their interests when they’re perusing websites. If you have 100 articles on contemporary music and have all these titles listed, a person can be guided by their interest to view many pages of your website. If your site derives profit from ad clicks, letting people know how to find what they want or enticing them with lots of material may be more profitable.

If your material changes constantly, like with a blog, updating the map can prove helpful for webcrawlers that determine your profile based partly on what your site contains. If you do use Google® Ads, they highly recommend that you create a sitemap so that webcrawlers can easily find all that your site contains. Use titles for each section that are keywords to increase your profile.

This can be especially important when you first begin a site, since you won’t have a lot of links on it to determine your profile. As you blog, be certain to keep the sitemap updated and on record with Google®, so that searchability and visibility of your Internet site increases.

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Discuss this Article

anon280469
Post 1

I have to say that sitemaps are really important and almost all of my websites have sitemaps which make search engines crawl the web site more easily and more effectively and help users access to every area of the particular website. So I love sitemap so much and I always use SiteMap X, a free tool.

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