Sitemap is basically the map that contains information of all located resource on a website. It helps users, as well as search engines, to easily explore a website for their required object. On the other hand it also helps them to improve their search (for user) and indexing experience (for search engines).
Sitemap is an integral part of any website. A Sitemap will help to better serve a user’s experience on your website. A Sitemap is simply a structure of a website. There are many types of Sitemaps present. Adding a Sitemap to your website will improve your website’s SEO.
Sitemaps are useful for both users and search engines. It will pass the information about the pages on the website to the search engines. Sitemap is an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about the pages available on a website.
The structure of different Sitemaps may vary according to the intended use. It is useful for project planning.
The common types of sitemap are as follows:
Search Engine Sitemap
XML is basically a language that store information about an object in organized or pre-defined format. This format is not understandable by humans but search engines do understand what is written in it and the purpose of writing. So, we can say that;
XML sitemaps are primarily for search engines to have a map of internal/external resources of website with their information. Fast and secure indexing of website by search engines rely on these sitemaps.
Simply we say XML sitemap is a document that helps Google and other major search engines better understand any website while crawling it.
XML sitemap contains information about objects like its location of availability, importance, type of object, how frequently it gets change, when it was last updated, how important site is in relation to other pages on the site etc.
XML sitemaps can be good for SEO, as they allow Google or other search engines to quickly find essential website pages, even if internal linking of web pages isn’t perfect.
Different types of XML Sitemaps
Index Sitemap (how many URL sitemaps a website have)
URL Sitemap (contain final information of URLs on webpage)
Sitemaps for webpages (commonly known as xml sitemap in community)
Image sitemaps (details of images and their URLs on website)
Video sitemaps (what webpages have videos embedded in them and their details)
Benefits of XML Sitemaps
Lists all URLs from your site and this includes pages that would not have been found able by search engines.
Gives engines page priority and thus crawl priority. You can add a tag on your XML sitemap saying which pages are the most important. Search engine will first focus on this priority pages.
Gives temporal information. You can also include two other optional tags that will pass extra data to search engines to help them crawl your website. The first one, “lastmod" informs them when a page last changed. The second one, “changefreq” tells how often a page is likely to change.
Gives you information back from the Google Webmaster Central. You can access googlebot activity for instance.
It will help indexation of non-html content of the web site such as Images, Video, PDF, etc.