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What is a Sitemap for a Website?

What is a Sitemap

Let us understand what is a Sitemap – Basically, sitemap is a list of web-pages of a website which are available in a single page. For every website sitemap is important because it allows search engines to crawl the site more actively. Sitemap XML file mainly consists of some additional information about Website URLs like;

What is a Sitemap for a Website

  • URL Location – Location of web page.
  • Last update – Last update details of the URL. (Ex: <lastmod>20180201</lastmod>)
  • Frequency – How often it can be updated like weekly, daily, monthly, yearly, etc. (Ex: <changefreq>weekly</changefreq>)
  • Priority – How important the URL is when compared with other URLs in the website. Priority range starts from 0 to 1 (Ex: <priority>0.9</priority>)

For coding developed websites (like html, php etc) you need to write down the sitemap separately and upload it in the website main directory folder. For Content Management System (CMS like wordpress, drupal, etc) based websites you can automatically generate the sitemap by using plugins.

To understand the structure of the Sitemap, how it look like, we have prepared a sample sitemap for you below. You can copy the code from the lines below, and adjust it to your needs by replacing data like (location, lastmod, changefreq).

Sitemap Example:

<?xml version=“1.0” encoding=“UTF-8”?><urlset xmlns=“http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9”>
<url>
<loc>http://www.domain.com /</loc>
<lastmod>20170101</lastmod>
<changefreq>weekly</changefreq>
<priority>0.8</priority>
</url>
<url>
<loc>http://www.domain.com/catalog?item=vacation_hawaii</loc>
<changefreq>weekly</changefreq>
</url>
<url>
<loc>http://www.domain.com/catalog?item=vacation_new_zealand</loc>
<lastmod>20081223</lastmod>
<changefreq>weekly</changefreq>
</url>
<url>
<loc>http://www.domain.com/catalog?item=vacation_newfoundland</loc>
<lastmod>20081223T18:00:15+00:00</lastmod>
<priority>0.3</priority>
</url>
<url>
<loc>http://www.domain.com/catalog?item=vacation_usa</loc>
<lastmod>20081123</lastmod>
</url>
</urlset>
Note: Sitemap is one of the important factor for SEO and it helps the crawler to find out the webpages in your website.
There are many websites which helps you to generate up-to 500 pages of sitemap.xml for free.

Key points to remember about Sitemap:

  • Sitemap helps the crawlers to find out all the web pages in your website and helps to crawl web-pages easily.
  • It’s one of the important factor for SEO.
  • Main Factors involved in Sitemap are URL Location, Priority, Frequency, Last Modified Date details. (as mentioned in the above sitemap example).
  • In a sitemap you can add or have upto 500 urls not more than that.

Expert & Interview Question:

 Try to research first and try to give your own explanation to it in above forum or else you can get the answer for this question in the above links.

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