Call Now Button
KEYWORDS: SEO basic, XML SITEMAP, GOOGLE CONSOLE
A good XML sitemap acts as a roadmap of your website that leads Google to any or all of your vital pages.
XML sitemaps are often designed to be smart for SEO, as they permit Google to quickly notice your essential website pages, even though your internal linking may not be excellent. This article explains what XML sitemaps are and the way they can assist your website to rank higher.
What area XML sitemaps?
Ideally, you want Google to “crawl” each vital page of your website. However, individual pages typically contain no internal links to help the Google bots to find them. This means your website is more difficult for Google to find.
An XML sitemap lists a website’s vital pages, ensuring that Google will notice and crawl all the pages, and will allow Google to recognize your website’s structure:
As you’ll be able to see, an XML sitemap shows many ‘index’ XML sitemaps are on the website: for example: post-sitemap.xml,/page-sitemap.xml,/video-sitemap.xml etc.
This categorization makes a site’s structure clear and workable. Therefore, if you click on one link among the index XML sitemaps, you’ll see all the URLs in this specific sitemap. For instance, if you click on ‘…/post-sitemap.xml’ you’ll see URLs for all the posts on the website.
You’ll notice a date at the tip of every line. This tells Google when each post was last updated and helps with SEO. Using an XML sitemap enables Google to crawl your updated content more regularly. Once a date changes within the XML sitemap, Google becomes aware that there is new content to crawl and index.
If you have got a huge website, it is usually necessary to have several separate index XML sitemaps. One XML sitemap is restricted to 50,000 URLs. Therefore, if your website has over 50,000 posts, you’ll want 2 separate XML sitemaps for the post URLs, effectively adding a second index XML sitemap.
The SEO plug-in sets a much lower limit – at 1,000 URLs – to keep your XML sitemap loading as quick as possible.
What websites need XML sitemap?
Google’s documentation states that XML sitemaps are helpful for “really massive websites”, for “websites with massive archives”, for “new websites with simply some external links” and for “websites that use made media content”. In other words, XML sitemaps are useful for the vast majority of websites.
Here at Red Dragon Webmaster, we agree that every variety of website will benefit from having an XML sitemap. Every website designer in existence wants Google to notice their website’s main pages and to know when they were last updated. That’s why this feature is included within the SEO plug-in.
Which pages ought to be in your XML sitemap?
How does one decide which pages to incorporate in your XML sitemap? Do you want a potential customer to land on a particular URL when they search for your website? Is that a decent result? If not, then that page shouldn’t be in your XML sitemap. In addition, if you don’t actually wish that particular page to show up within search results, you ought to add a ‘no index, follow’ tag. Leaving a page out of your XML sitemap doesn’t mean Google won’t index it. If Google will notice it by following links, Google will index the universal resource locator.
Example 1: a new blog
Say for instance you’re beginning a new blog. You will hope that Google quickly seeks out new posts to form positive results and help your target market to find your blog on Google. Therefore, it’s a good plan to make an XML sitemap right from the beginning.
You may produce one or two posts and add tags to them to start out with. However, there won’t be enough content to fill the tag summary pages, creating “thin content” that’s not valuable to guests. In this scenario, you must leave the tag’s URLs out of the XML sitemap to start off with. Setting the tag pages to ‘no index, follow’ will stop individuals from finding these tag summary pages in the search results.
Example 2: Media and pictures
Having a ‘media’ or ‘image’ XML sitemap is redundant for many websites. This is often automatically created by the images used on your web pages, and images can therefore already be included in your ‘post’ or ‘page’ sitemap.
Therefore, having a separate ‘media’ or ‘image’ XML sitemap would be pointless and we would recommend leaving it out of your XML sitemap. The sole exception to this is if pictures were already your main business. For example, photographers would be more likely to want a separate ‘media’ or ‘image’ XML sitemap to be available to Google.
If you have got huge website, it’s usually necessary to have separate index XML sitemaps. One XML sitemap is restricted to 50,000 URLs. Therefore, if your website has over 50,000 posts, for example, you’ll need two separate XML sitemaps for the post URLs, effectively adding a second index XML sitemap. The SEO plug-in sets the limit even lower – at 1,000 URLs – to keep your XML sitemap loading as quickly as possible.
How to make Google notice your XML sitemap
If you want Google to find your XML sitemap faster, you need to add it to your Google Search Console account.
You’ll be able to view the sitemaps in the Search Console by navigating to ‘Crawl’, then clicking on ‘Site maps’. Right away, you’ll see your XML sitemap on the Search Console. If it doesn’t appear, click on the ‘Add/Test sitemap’ button that you can see in the image below.
As you can see within the image, adding your XML sitemap will be useful to find out if all the pages in your sitemap are indexed by Google.
If there’s a giant distinction within the ‘submitted’ and ‘indexed’ range on a specific sitemap, we would recommend that you do some work on this. There may even be a mistake preventing some pages from being indexed or you may wish additional content or links to be indexed on your website.