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A sitemap is a list of all the pages on a website and a good navigation aid. Creation and submission of a sitemap helps make sure that the search engine gets to know about all the pages on the website, including URLs that may not be discoverable by the normal crawling process. Proper Sitemap submission is an important SEO (Search Engine Optimization) activity.

There are basically two types of Sitemaps.

  • Sitemaps for users/readers
  • Sitemap for search engines

The first type of Sitemap is a HTML page and lists the pages of the website. It helps the users to find the information they require.

What are XML sitemaps? An XML sitemap is actually the Sitemap made for the search engine. A Sitemap is very important due to the following reasons.

  • The website has dynamic content.
  • When the website has got web pages that cannot be easily discovered during the crawlers
  • Use of Ajax / JavaScript on the website
  • A new siteLess linked website
  • Big volume archive on site without interlinking

Actually Sitemaps provide additional information about the web site to Google, complementing the regular methods of crawling of the web. The Sitemap will help in crawling more of the site and also in a more timely fashion. However Google cannot guarantee that the URLs from the Sitemap will be added to the Google index.

Sitemap 0.90 is offered under the terms of the Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License and has a wide adoption policy that includes support from Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.

Creative Commons licenses are several copyright licenses released on December 16, 2002 by Creative Commons, a U.S. non-profit corporation that was founded in 2001. Creative Commons licenses are currently available in 34 different jurisdictions worldwide.

How is the information given to the crawlers by the search engines? Once we have created the Sitemap file and placed on the server, the search engine can be informed in one of the following ways.

  • Submission via the search engine’s submission interface
  • Specifying the location in the site’s robots.txt file
  • Sending an HTTP request

After Sitemap submission process the search engines makes the Sitemap available to their search crawlers.

Outsource Strategies International (OSI) is a US based company that offers outsourcing of professional yet cost effective services in SEO, SEM, PPC management, and viral marketing to clients globally.