Content Inventory > Your Sitemap and What it is Used For

Your Sitemap and What it is Used For

A sitemap is an xml file that is automatically generated by your CMS that enables search engines and web crawlers to crawl your site more intelligently.

It lists all of the URLs that the webmaster wants indexed and also contains other valuable information such as when the page was last modified, and other optional metadata such as image, title, description. In addition, the overall sitemap might be partitioned into multiple sitemaps that are broken down by content category (recipe-sitemap, product-sitemap, post-sitemap, etc).

  • Sitemaps are important for SEO, they tell Google (and other web search engines) which pages you feel are good quality pages for search results, worthy of indexing and showing in users search results.
  • Your sitemap.xml distinguishes “content” pages from “utility pages” like search results pages, or checkout pages.
  • If your sitemap.xml has some of your content pages but not others, its a signal to Google and other search engines that only the pages in sitemap.xml are the ones you deem worth to display in peoples search results.
  • Other automated web crawlers/indexers like social networks and OneSpot also take advantage of sitemap.xml files to ensure that they scrape only the good stuff from a website.
  • Using either built-in CMS functionality or an SEO CMS plugin like YOAST is the best way to make sure you have good quality sitemap.xml files