What is a sitemap?
Confused and wondering… What exactly is a Sitemap?
Sitemaps are often used as a tool to help webmasters to get search engines to crawl their web pages/URLs. A sitemap is simply a XML file containing a list of URLs for a web site, including metadata for each URL. The metadata includes data such as, when it was last updated, frequency of changes, how important it is, how it is related to other URLs within the site, all of this enables the search engines to crawl the site more effectively.
More information about, what is a XML Sitemap:
What is a SitemapUsually web crawlers discover site pages pretty good on their own, from the use of internal links within the website and external links from other sites. Using a sitemap is more of a supplement, which allows crawlers that support site maps to pick up on the URLs that are contained in the sitemap with the use of the associated metadata. However, using a site map doesn’t guarantee that your pages will be included in the search engines, it just provides extra information to help web crawlers to crawl your site
Most search engines, mainly rely on the bots and crawlers to discover newly added pages to the web. In many situations, sitemaps can help, but they aren’t absolutely necessary.
If you are considering adding a sitemap, I strongly suggest that you find out what you current crawl rate is before you add one. Many people have claimed that adding a site map has actually slowed the crawling rate process down. Many webmasters believe that this is because Google no longer needs to completely crawl your entire site for internal pages/URLs.
YouTube related video about sitemaps:
Why You Need a Sitemap What Is A Sitemap XML Site Map
Additional thoughts about sitemaps:
When discussing the subject of sites maps, you will find that many webmasters support the need for them and many are against using them all together. In the end, it is up to you making that decision if it is the right measure for you.