What is a sitemap.xml?
The sitemap file is a document in XML format intended to list the URLs of your site in order to provide them to search engines for indexing.
- The default address is: https://yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml
What for a sitemap.xml?
The goal is to give Google (or other search engines) all the information about indexable pages of your site in order to facilitate the task of discovery and indexing.
Without a sitemap, Google will be forced to discover the pages by himself via your internal mesh, but with a Sitemap, it is all the easier for it to browse and index the URLs of your site because you provide it with a list of URLs to crawl.
Please note, this file does not replace a relevant internal mesh, allowing to increase the theming, to increase the internal popularity, and reduce the depth of your web pages.
What must be entered in an XML sitemap file?
Various elements may be added to indicate further information on the content provided on the site:
- Last modified : 2021-12-29 to indicate when these pages were last modified,
- Priority : 1.0 information on the importance of the page in the tree structure on a scale of “0.1” to “1.0”,
- Images : all images embedded within the URL to avoid providing another Image sitemap,
- Their location must be entered: URL ,
- Their title SEO title ,
- The frequency of modification : daily : indicating the contents which tend to be modified / revised frequently,
- The languages of the pages : language of the page for multilingual sites having these attributes within their various language versions (pages).
These attributes are to be integrated into the map so as to promote intelligent exploration of your site by search engine robots.
Do are sitemap.xml by hand or use plugins?
For large sites, sitemap generation plugins are available on virtually all CMS. They will take care of editing it. Be careful, however, to properly configure the plugin so that it generates a healthy and complete file.
Where to declare the sitemap file?
The address of your sitemap.xml is to be declared within your site management interface search engines. In this case, the Search Console for Google.
Add to this declaration the URL of the sitemaps in question at the end or beginning of your robots.txt in order to provide it with additional input.