In this article we cover:
- What is an XML sitemap
- XML sitemap format
- Types of sitemaps(Description will upload my next blog)
What Is an XML Sitemap
In simple terms, an XML sitemap is a list of your website’s URLs.It acts as a road map to tell search engines what content is available and how to reach it.
A search engine will find all nine pages in a sitemap with one visit to the XML sitemap file.
On the website, it will have to jump through five internal links to find page 9.
This ability of an XML sitemap to assist crawlers in faster indexation is especially important for websites that:
- Have thousands of pages and/or a deep website architecture.
- Frequently add new pages.
- Frequently change content of existing pages.
- Suffer from weak internal linking and orphan pages.
- Lack a strong external link profile.
XML Sitemap Format
A one-page site using all available tags would have this XML sitemap:
But how should an SEO use each of these tags? Is all the metadata valuable?
This compulsory tag contains the absolute, canonical version of the URL location. It should accurately reflect your site protocol (http or https) and if you have chosen to include or exclude www.For international websites, this is also where you can implement your hreflang handling.
By using the xhtml:link attribute to indicate the language and region variants for each URL, you reduce page load time, which the other implementations of link elements in the <head> or HTTP headers can’t offer.Yoast has an epic post on hreflang for those wanting to learn more.
Lastmod (Last Modified) Tag
An optional but highly recommended tag used to communicate the file’s last modified date and time.
John Mueller acknowledged Google does use the lastmod metadata understand when the page last changed and if it should be crawled. Contradicting advice from Illyes in 2015.The last modified time is especially critical for content sites as it assists Google to understand that you are the original publisher.It’s also powerful to communicate freshness, but be sure to update modification date only when you have made meaningful changes.Trying to trick search engines that your content is fresh, when it’s not, may result in a Google penalty.
Changefreq (Change Frequency) Tag
Once upon a time, this optional tag hinted how frequently content on the URL was expected to change to search engines.But Mueller has stated that “change frequency doesn’t really play that much of a role with sitemaps” and that “it is much better to just specify the time stamp directly”.
This optional tag that ostensibly tells search engines how important a page is relative to your other URLs on a scale between 0.0 to 1.0. At best, it was only ever a hint to search engines and both Mueller and Illyes have clearly stated they ignore it.
Types of Sitemaps
There are many different types of sitemaps. Let’s look at the ones you actually need.
- XML Image Sitemap
- XML Video Sitemap
- Google News Sitemap
- Mobile Sitemap
- HTML Sitemap
- XML Sitemap
- Dynamic XML Sitemap