What is a sitemap file

 Many modern websites have a strong user experience and clear interfaces, and they are easy to access through search engines, and the user does not soon reach them so that he can easily find what he wants and get what he wants as quickly as possible. Strong programming is one of the site’s strengths that many do not notice. Behind the distinctive design there are many strong lines of code, where developers use everything they can from the site’s pages to strengthen it and add many details that make it appear more in search engines, and the sitemap file is One of these techniques that make the site bett

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A site map is a file that contains all the links and pages of the site in an organized way that helps users in dealing with the site, and to help search engines find each page of it, index it and show it clearly when needed. It is a hierarchical list that contains the site as a whole, divided according to its pages starting from the main page to The last page of the site, and the sitemap is rendered in the form of an XML file or schema that contains a list of all the pages of the site, which helps search engines in particular to deal with the site more quickly and intelligently.

The importance of a sitemap file

The sitemap file includes metadata files about the site, such as titles, keywords, and some details that the site owners would like to display. The benefits of the sitemap file include the following:

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Programmatically telling search engines and other sites important information about the site.

Facilitate the process of indexing the site within the search engines.

Increase the chances of the site appearing in search results.

Ensuring that Google and other search engines have obtained accurate, correct and organized information about the site.

Describe the link between the pages of the site in a way that makes it easier for the user and the search engine to understand the site.

Sitemap file format

The sitemap.xml file is formatted in a uniform and clear way, but it must be noted that XML is not the only format but it is the most popular. Below we review a simple example of the most popular sitemap format, which is a very simple sitemap, containing only one link, which is Home page link:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

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<urlset > 

  <url>

    <loc>http://www.example.com/index.html</loc>

    <lastmod>2018-06-04</lastmod>

  </url>

</urlset>

As we can see, the XML sitemap file format is simple and standard, includes a set of tags or tags to identify the content, and each link within the site has its own URL with information about it, and more complex examples can be obtained from the famous sitemaps.org site.

What locations need a map

Search engines can access any site, but the presence of a sitemap file helps to greatly improve access, which is desirable, but some sites need the map more, such as:

Large sites whose pages are difficult to understand without a sitemap and some new pages may be ignored by search engines.

That the site is not interconnected in nature, that is, there are sections of the site that are separate from each other or that the interconnection between them is not built correctly.

New site with few external links as it is difficult to access all pages.

Having rich content on the site needs to be organized to help search engines index it accurately.

Building a sitemap

Although the task performed by the sitemap file is very important, the way to build that map is very easy and can be built without writing any letters only using specialized sites to generate a map of your site and utilities such as:

Screaming Frog SEO Spider and Sitemap generator .

Enarion phpSitemapsNG .

XML-Sitemaps .

Perl Sitemap Generator One .

Simple Sitemaps One .

Free Sitemap Generator One .

Sitemap Doc .

How to get google to access the sitemap

To do this, you must add the sitemap file to the other files within Google, and this is by creating a Google Search Console account, and then adding the file through it to the Sitemaps section, and immediately it is possible to know whether it has been added or not, and this facilitates the work of Google and ensures It is good that the site is in the search results associated with it.

As we can see, building a site map and adding it to Google is a very easy task, in addition to its great importance in improving the appearance of the site within any search engine and facilitating the use of the site by users as well.

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