Site Map and Google Site Maps

site map (or sitemap) is a web page that lists the pages on a website, typically organized in hierarchical fashion. This helps visitors, and search engine robots, to find pages on the site. An example is the one on EFF’s (Electronic Frontier Foundation’s) page.

Site maps can improve search engine optimization of a site by making sure that all the pages can be found. This is especially important if a site uses Macromedia Flash or JavaScript menus that do not include HTML links.

Site maps do have limitations. Most search engines will only follow a finite number of links from a page, so if a site is very large, additional strategies besides the site map may be required that search engines, and visitors, can access all content on the site.

Google Sitemaps:

Google maintains a feature called Google Sitemaps that allows web developers to publish lists of links from across their sites. The basic premise is that some sites have a large number of pages that are only available through the use of forms and user entries. The sitemap files can then be used to indicate to a web crawler how such pages can be found.

What is a sitemap? 
A sitemap is basically a page or pages that serve/s as a directory by listing all the links to all documents and files found in a website. It is not merely a random listing of links, but organized in such a way that it gives the web user an idea of how all the information that can be found in the site fits into an outline or framework. It is like viewing the table of contents of a book, or viewing the “concept map” of the site’s content.

What is a spider?
In SEO language, spider is not an animal found in your closet. This electronic search spider is actually a bot which collects data and copies content to be stored in the search engine’s database when keywords are fed into the search dialogue box. The spider reads the content of the site and sends another bot to follow the links and copy the content contained in them.

What purpose does a sitemap serve?
A sitemap like any other map gives directions to a navigator. It primarily targets search engine spiders so that they are properly directed to your site and to the links where keywords entered in the search dialogue appears. As such, it is actually a useful tool in search engine optimization. A well organized site map would guide the spider to find the information it needs when keywords are entered during a search operation.

As an additional beneficial consequence, sitemaps have proven to be useful even to web users. Since a sitemap displays all the links to information found in a website, it helps the user to search for a particular topic in mind. Many users also use the sitemap to navigate between pages in a site.

What are the benefits of having a sitemap for my website?

1. No page would be left unturned
Going back to the purpose of sitemaps, having one would mean faster and easier tracking and crawling of spiders all over your site. As a result, search engines would surely get to the view all the pages of your site and not just the pages containing random keywords.

2. Easier navigation for site visitors
Once a web user has accessed your sitemap, they need not go back to the search engine page to look for what they need. If what they are looking for is in your site, then they would have an easier and faster way of locating it.

3. Potential advertising value
If it so happens that a relevant product or service company reaches your site, then it would be easier for them to see how best they can position themselves in the different pages of your site as a paid page advertisement.

4. Encourage greater traffic to your site
If your company website has a sitemap then potential buyers would have an easier time in accessing your latest products and services. Moreover, they would not miss out on any product that might be off future interest to them since the sitemap would display all information found the site.What is a sitemap?
A sitemap is basically a page or pages that serve/s as a directory by listing all the links to all documents and files found in a website. It is not merely a random listing of links, but organized in such a way that it gives the web user an idea of how all the information that can be found in the site fits into an outline or framework. It is like viewing the table of contents of a book, or viewing the “concept map” of the site’s content.