How Sitemaps Work

Sitemaps are a tool that webmasters use to provide communication between your website and the server and allow the search engine spider to easily find its way around your website. You can easily create a sitemap and then submit it to the search engines for indexing. Sitemaps are a simple tool to use if you have a good understanding of a few of the basics for using this tool.

How Sitemaps Work

  • XML: XML stands for Extensible Markup Language which requires you to have an XML generated file contained in your website that transfers any updates or changes you have made in the site to the search engines. The XML Sitemap file will require a code generator whose purpose is to list all of your web pages, spider your site, and then transmit all of the information to the search engines.
  • Site Map Generation: Sitemaps can be generated through online tools such as Google's Python Generator. This is a sitemap tool that installs a script on your server and produces XML Sitemap files for transmission to the Google search engine. Your server should be capable of running scripts and you must learn the commands to launch the tool and the directory path to your website. Sitemaps can also be generated via a PHP Code tool that generates the scripts that you install on the server. PHP Code generators are available online as a download in both free and paid versions.

Why Sitemaps Are Used

  • Webmaster Control: Sitemaps are convenient tools that allow a webmaster to control how the search engine spiders index the sites and make websites updates a lot easier. Instead of the search engine spider taking control, webmasters can use sitemaps to create rules for the search engine spiders.
  • Editing: You can also edit your sitemap to let the search engines know which pages on your website are important and which are not as important. Additionally, you can edit the sitemap to tell the search engines how often to spider the pages based on how often you make changes to them. This helps the search engines because they do not have to crawl through pages in which you have not performed any changes.
  • Indexing: Sitemaps ensure that your website is crawled and indexed, however it does not guarantee high ranking with the search engines. You still have to use the required techniques to gain high ranking in the search engine and continue to update your website on a frequent basis.
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