SEO

What is XML sitemap for a website, role in SEO 2021

Understand the importance of XML sitemap for any website, why you should have one for Search Engine Optimization.

Sitemap: as the name suggests, mapping of the site. That means it is a guide for your website to anyone.

Sitemaps are of two types

  1. HTML sitemap that can be understood by users like you and me,.
  2. XML sitemap that can be understood by search engine bots.
XML sitemap
XML sitemap

In this article, we’re going to discuss an XML sitemap that is supported by a search engine or in other words that can read by the search engine.

XML sitemap structure.

Google support several formats for sitemap but an XML format is mostly used for it. You can provide up to 50,000 URLs and 50MB in a single sitemap(both limits shouldn’t be cross). If you have a larger website you can create a multiple.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
  <sitemapindex xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9">
    <sitemap>
      <loc>http://www.example.com/sitemap1.xml.gz</loc>
    </sitemap>
    <sitemap>
      <loc>http://www.example.com/sitemap2.xml.gz</loc>
    </sitemap>
  </sitemapindex>

If you want to understand the syntax in detail, can refer to this page. Once you created a sitemap for your website you can submit XML to Google Search Console for indexing in search engine.

Extension of sitemap for additional media type

Google support Video, Image and News sitemap, and Bing Search Engine support Video sitemaps.

You can add sitemap for external media type but at the same time you’ve to avoid the duplicate content. You’ve to make sure that pages of the website of blog is not creating duplicate content by once indexing in post, and second time in feed itself.

Example for WordPress Sitemap:

XML sitemap Example
Techaak’s XML Sitemap Example.

How you can generate an XML sitemap for WordPress.

You can generate an XML sitemap in WordPress by using JetPack, Yoast SEO Plugin, Rank Math, and All in One SEO plugins.

How you can it for Blogger.

You can Blogger already has a sitemap for all its blogs into their root directory. You can access that by adding sitemap.xml and sitemap-pages.xml at the end of the URL. Submit Blogger sitemap to Google Search Console & Improve SEO.

What to include in the sitemap?

In the above all plugin, if your website is a blogging website then you can include Post and Pages sitemap in the main sitemap. And all other pages like category, label, testimony, etc should be noindex as per your need.

By marking noindex to category, tags etc, website will get not be linked to the other article of the website itself. To avoid this issue, please consider interlinking the website with each post.

How a sitemap works?

When you add a new post or page to your website, this will automatically add to the sitemap XML file. And submitted XML file ping to google search engine and make your new entry index.

The sitemap file contain URLs of all the posts and pages of the blog or website with their update or publish time. That ping the search engine to index new pages/posts or updated articles.

Reference of XML Sitemap

You can refer to your website sitemap in the site’s robots.txt file. Below is an example of our website’s robots.txt file.

User-agent: *
Disallow: /wp-admin/ 
Allow: /wp-admin/admin-ajax.php 
Allow: / 
Sitemap: https://seoneurons.com/sitemap_index.xml

You can add more than one sitemap in the robots.txt file. That will help various search engines to locate the sitemap on your website.

I hope you liked our article, in case any doubt feel free to ask in the comment section below.

Ashok Kumar

Ashok Kumar working in the Search Engine Optimization field since 2015. And worked on many successful projects since then. He shares the real-life experience of best SEO practices with his followers on seoneurons.com. You also can learn Advance level SEO for WordPress, Blogger, or any other blogging platform. Stay tuned.

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