What is a SITEMAP?

Sitemaps are an application where you list the videos, pages, and other files on your website and the connections between the files.

What is a SITEMAP?

A sitemap simply means a file listing all pages on your website that search engines should be able to find and rank. There are two types of sitemaps: the sitemap that crawlers/bots can use and the one that users can see. Each one is designed for a different purpose and can be used for different purposes.

Sitemaps: Why are they important?

While sitemaps are not necessary for search engines to find your website, they are highly recommended for all websites.  Sitemaps are particularly important for new sites, sites with large archives, and sites that have a lot of pages.

New websites have very few links from the outside, so crawlers might not be able to find all pages.

If they don't have the metadata, crawlers might overlook pages that were recently updated on large sites.

It can be difficult for crawlers, especially on archival sites where pages don't naturally link to each other, to locate all pages of your site without the sitemap.

sitemap.xml - Bots and Crawlers

Xml sitemaps are files that can be read by crawlers and bots to show search engines like Google and Bing where they can find pages and how they are organized. These files can be used to identify pages that are not linked to other pages of your website, such as landing pages. This will allow them to rank along with any pages that have been discovered by Web crawlers like Googlebot. 

The bot can use metadata to learn more about each page. This includes when it was created and last updated, the frequency with which each page is updated, as well as the page's importance relative to other pages. Metadata can be used to provide information about particular types of content, such as mobile view, images and videos, products, and other relevant information.

These sitemaps can be submitted to search engines via webmaster tools or an analytics account.

These sitemaps can only contain 10MB or 50,000 URLs. You can also break down your sitemap into smaller files and attach a sitemap index file to your submission to search engines if you have a larger website.

XML files

The websitemap.org protocol allows you to upload XML sitemap files. Yoast SEO plugins, which are built into WordPress, will create and organize these files automatically.

Visual Sitemaps

A visual sitemap allows you to include a page in your website that shows visitors the layout of your pages. It is easy to understand and allows people to easily see your posts and pages. These sitemaps can include all pages or you can restrict it to only the top-level pages. Visual sitemaps can include excerpts from each page, which will give your visitors an idea about the content on each page.

Visual sitemaps are not intended for crawlers or bots but have the added benefit of adding internal link to your most valuable pages. This makes it easier to identify associations between your content and spiders and crawlers.

RSS, mRSS and Atom 1.0

You can submit your RSS feed URL to replace a sitemap if you have a blog that uses an Atom feed or RSS feed. For video content, you can submit the mRSS feed (media RSS).


Google allows you to submit a txt to them if you don't know how to create XML or RSS files. Each URL from your site will be included in the file, with one URL per line.

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