Search engines like help when they are indexing and populating your website’s information, and an XML Sitemap can do just that. Sitemaps provide search engines with a list of the pages on a website, giving them a guide to its structure. Search engines use Sitemap data to learn about a website's structure and to improve their crawler schedule, which in turn improves the quality and frequency of your indexing. When you submit an XML Sitemap, you are helping web crawlers do a better job.
There are no negative consequences or penalties for submitting a Sitemap, so if you don’t currently have one it is recommended that you look into getting one on your website. By creating and submitting a Sitemap, you will benefit from a better performance on search engine results pages (SERPs) for a number of reasons:
- XML Sitemaps can help search engines discover pages they may not be aware of otherwise.
- The utilization of a Sitemap provides useful metadata which helps search engines to better understand the content on your website.
- Sitemaps allow the opportunity to provide temporal information about your website, such as the date it was last updated and how often you expect the content to change.
- You can improve on website architecture, as the XML Sitemap will raise awareness about areas that need improvement, making it easy to identify and strengthen website weaknesses.
There are only benefits to submitting an XML Sitemap. They are particularly helpful for websites with any of the following characteristics:
- The website has dynamic content. When the website includes content that can’t be seen in a text browser, it may be difficult for web crawlers to detect.
- The content includes rich AJAX or images. The bots or crawlers that index pages for search engines may not be able to "see" content when it isn’t readable text, even if it is static.
- The link profile is minimal. Web crawlers discover websites by following links. If your website isn’t linked from anywhere on the web, it may be hard to find.
- The internal pages are not linked. When content pages are not well linked to each other, or are not linked at all, they may not be discovered through the normal crawling process.
When using a SiteViz CMS dynamic module, your Sitemap complies with Google Webmaster Guidelines. Contact your Project Manager or Support Representative to verify if your Sitemap is Google worthy. We are always happy to help!