What is an XML Sitemap?

by Elaine on April 16, 2013

Basically an XML sitemap is a road map that lists all the pages existing on your website.  It is a way for you, as a website owner, to communicate with search engines such as Google or Bing/Yahoo and let them know which links on this road map are important and how frequently you update your website.  Sitemaps do not increase SEO rankings of your posts in Google or Yahoo, but they effectively let search engines know of all the links available on your site and hence better crawl through your website.

For example, I created a new website recently and noticed that my links were not getting indexed into the search engine.  I googled my site and nothing came up.  That’s when I decided to create a XML sitemap and overnight my links were slowly getting indexed into Google’s search results.   For new blogs, it’s important to create an XML sitemap to inform search engines of your site and links you have to offer.  Although the sitemap does not improve your search engine rankings, at least your links are in and with some SEO manipulation you can improve your rankings through time.

I don’t manually create this XML sitemap. I installed a free Wordpress site map plugin that creates and manages my XML sitemap for me.  The WordPress plugin regenerates and zips a new sitemap everyday.  Then it attempts to submit it to the search engines.  The WordPress plugin creates a sitemap to a link, it’s usually saved to a file called sitemap.xml.  This is what my XML sitemap currently looks like.

xml sitemap cmsmind elaine What is an XML Sitemap? XML Sitemap

It is not good enough to just download and activate a free Sitemap Wordpress plugin, you must submit your sitemap links to Google and Yahoo for them to know where your website sitemap is.   You can do this through Google Webmaster Tools.

My next tutorial will show you how to download and install a free Wordpress plugin to create an XML sitemap.



 What is an XML Sitemap?


Elaine is the founder of CmsMind, an online blog providing Joomla and WordPress tutorials. Elaine lives in Toronto and when she is not online, she is either Marathon and Triathlon training or travelling and racing somewhere in the world. Find her also at: Save Money, Premium Themes and Templates, and at Webhosting Tips.

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