What`s a Sitemap, and Do I need One?

DavidJacksonDavidJackson subscriber Posts: 143 Silver Level Member
A sitemap is a collection of hyperlinks that outlines a website`s structure. These links allow visitors to quickly navigate to any section of a website listed in the sitemap.

What are the advantages to having a sitemap?

Well, in addition to making it easier for your visitors to navigate their way around your site, sitemaps also make it easier for search engine spiders to crawl your site. This can can improve your site`s search engine optimization by making sure that all the pages can be found. This will increase your search engine visibility, as well as your traffic.
And since most search engines will only follow a finite number of links from a page, having a sitemap ensures that search engines and visitors alike can access all the content on your site.

Do you need a sitemap?

Well, it depends on your site. If your site only has one or two pages and hardly any content, then no, you don`t need a sitemap.
However, if your site has multiple pages and lots of content, it definitely won`t hurt to install a sitemap on your site.
 
Here`s a good rule of thumb:
 
Once you get to the point where you are no longer able to include all the links to your pages on your home page, then you need a sitemap.
After all, anything that will help your visitors as well as the search engines navigate your site is a good thing, right?

So where can I get a sitemap?

First of all, you should check to see if your site already has a sitemap. For example, I created my blog with Google`s Blogger, and my blog has a built-in sitemap.
If after checking you find that you don`t have a sitemap, the easiest way to create one is with XML Sitemaps Generator.
The aforementioned website will allow you to quickly and easily create your own sitemap right online.
David Jackson
DavidJackson1/9/2009 8:12 PM
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Comments

  • DavidJacksonDavidJackson subscriber Posts: 143 Silver Level Member
    Nice article and very thorough explanation.
     
     
    Thank you!
     
    Just one person like you appreciating my articles makes all my hard work worthwhile!
     
    David Jackson
    DavidJackson1/10/2009 3:01 PM
  • JmesJmes subscriber Posts: 4
    Indeed David, it is detailed in a very explanatory manner
    I, too, support the idea of a site map. And I completely agree with what you wrote.
    Keep up the good work
    Jmes
  • DavidJacksonDavidJackson subscriber Posts: 143 Silver Level Member
    Indeed David, it is detailed in a very explanatory manner
    I, too, support the idea of a site map. And I completely agree with what you wrote.
    Keep up the good work
     
     
    James, I truly appreciate your kind words.
     
    Thank you, my friend!
     
    David Jackson
  • WebJunkyWebJunky subscriber Posts: 8 Member
    one quick thing to add is the distinction between an HTML sitemap and an XML sitemap. an XML sitemap is geared for search engines. it is what we submit to alarm them on which URLs/pages they should be indexing (not a must if your site is already indexed as new pages will be found eventually).  i usually keep an updated XML sitemap in the root directory of my website.
    an HTMl sitemap is geared toward the human visitor. it looks nice and neat to the eyes.  it can also be read and spidered by search engines. i update mine every quarter.
  • DavidJacksonDavidJackson subscriber Posts: 143 Silver Level Member

    one quick thing to add is the distinction between an HTML sitemap and an XML sitemap. an XML sitemap is geared for search engines. it is what we submit to alarm them on which URLs/pages they should be indexing   I intentionally refer to an XML sitemap only,  because in my opinion, an HTML sitemap is simply not necessary, which is why I didn`t mention it. David JacksonDavidJackson1/12/2009 8:42 AM
  • WebJunkyWebJunky subscriber Posts: 8 Member
    but an xml map is foreign language to your human visitor.  then how does it enhance their experience on your website?
  • DavidJacksonDavidJackson subscriber Posts: 143 Silver Level Member
    but an xml map is foreign language to your human visitor.  then how does it enhance their experience on your website?
     
     
    A XML sitemap ensures more of your site`s pages are indexed by the search engines.
    More indexed pages available in the search engines benefits your visitors. 
     
    David Jackson
  • WebJunkyWebJunky subscriber Posts: 8 Member
    thanks for the clarification and confirmation. agreed.
  • DavidJacksonDavidJackson subscriber Posts: 143 Silver Level Member
    thanks for the clarification and confirmation. agreed.

     
    No problem, my friend.
     
    David Jackson
  • huiedeehuiedee subscriber Posts: 7
    Hello,
     
    I am trying to create a sitemap but I need help!!! I am not getting pass trying to download ...help!!
     
    How do I submit my site to free directories? What are they?
     
    Donna

    www.pregnant-r-us.com
  • WeblineWebline subscriber Posts: 13 Bronze Level Member
    Donna,
    Welcome to SUN.
    First of all, don`t submit to any directories unless they are related to the topic of your site, and even then don`t expect a lot ( if any ) traffic from them.
    You can actually use 2 sitemaps on your site.
    First, you can create one that looks like your other pages, and manually put in links to the main subpages of your site. This would be a "user-friendly" sitemap for your visitors.
    Second, there are websites that generate free XML sitemaps for your site. You can download the XML file they generate. Then you can create accounts with Google and Yahoo ( and possibly other search engines ), upload the XML file to your main website directory, then submit XML url to Google and Yahoo ( not the file itself, just your web address to the XML file ).
  • DavidJacksonDavidJackson subscriber Posts: 143 Silver Level Member
    Don`t submit to any directories unless they are related to the topic of your site.
     
     
    The exceptions to this rule are  Yahoo`s Directory,  and  DMOZ.  But in my opinion, submitting to DMOZ is an exercise in both futility and frustration.
     
    David Jackson
    DavidJackson1/26/2009 9:37 AM
  • WeblineWebline subscriber Posts: 13 Bronze Level Member
    I think many people have given up on, or forgotten about, DMOZ.Webline1/26/2009 11:04 AM
  • DavidJacksonDavidJackson subscriber Posts: 143 Silver Level Member
    I think many people have given up on, or forgotten about, DMOZ.

     
     
    I hope so.
     
    Their directory is so out-dated it`s ridiculous!
     
    David Jackson
  • profits4idiotsprofits4idiots subscriber Posts: 0
    Hahaha... yup, there might be just a few people in the world that are using DMOZ.
    On another note, my blog also needs sitemaps. Your article definitely helped me prepare for this step.
    Thanks!
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