Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages on their sites that are available for crawling.
In its simplest form, a Sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL (when it was last updated, how often it usually changes, and how important it is, relative to other URLs in the site) so that search engines can more intelligently crawl the site.
Sitemaps are a way to tell Serach Engines about pages on your site they might not otherwise discover, or not discover as quickly.
In its simplest terms, a XML Sitemap—usually called Sitemap, with a capital S—is a list of the pages on your website. Creating and submitting a Sitemap helps make sure that Search Engines know about all the pages on your site, including URLs that may not be discoverable by the Search Engines’ normal crawling process.
Sitemaps are particularly helpful if:
- Your site has dynamic content.
- Your site has pages that aren’t easily discovered by Search Engines during the crawl process—for example, pages featuring rich AJAX or images.
- Your site is new and has few links to it.
- Your site has a large archive of content pages that are not well linked to each other, or are not linked at all.