Technical SEO: Sitemaps & Robots
Technical SEO including Sitemaps/robots.txt files are some of my favorite topics within the SEO umbrella. But, if they are correctly used, they can help you communicate your website quality to search engine robots. This article will cover sitemaps, and I’ll demonstrate the distinction between XML and HTML sitemaps. It will also explain robots.txt files. And the SEO benefits that each has.
What is an XML-sitemap?
An HTML sitemap is essentially a mapping of your entire website. There are two types: XML/HTML. XML sitemaps assist search engine robots, and HTML sitemaps aid website visitors.
Google states that a sitemap is necessary for websites with large sites, many old content pages and poor linking, and new sites with few backlinks or image-, video, or video-centric websites. An XML Sitemap can benefit all websites as it improves communication between your website & search engine robots. As SEO specialists, this is our goal.
In an XML Sitemap, you can list the crucial URLs of your website that are SEO relevant. This is to inform search engine robots they should crawl these pages. This does not guarantee that search engines will index the URLs you have included in your sitemap. By eliminating the guesswork and confusion from the search engine bots’ task, using an XML Sitemap can improve the intelligence with which they crawl your URLs. Google and Yahoo XML-based sitemaps are supported by Microsoft Bing, Microsoft Bing, and Microsoft Bing. Google even sponsors sitemaps.org – it sounds similar to what they did to schema.org!
Your website’s pages are listed in an XML sitemap. It can be submitted to XML sitemap-accepting search engines like Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Webmaster Tools, and others. The XML sitemap will need to be made for you by your webmaster. Still, they’ll probably do it anyway since it’s simple to accomplish.
Once built, the XML sitemap file must be sent each time your website is updated in order for search engines to index the changes more rapidly. Let us know when modifications are made so we can, if necessary, edit the file. We don’t need to keep track of what has changed since the last time; send us an email.
Sitemap Tags XML
You can also make it easier by including these optional and required tags into your XML sitemap. (location). (last modification) tags.
Sitemaps are a crucial component of SEO. They facilitate more thorough indexing of your website by search engines. They can also reveal important details about the organization and content of your website. One kind of sitemap that employs a particular format to store data in an XML sitemap. They are therefore simple to read and comprehend for search engines.
Additionally, XML sitemaps can include details like the most recent update date and how frequently a page updates. When search engines crawl a site, this can be pretty helpful. One approach to include this additional information in your sitemap is through sitemap tags. Search engines can better grasp the content and structure of your website by using tags in your sitemap. In the end, this can be improved.
Using the tag is the only requirement to specify the URL location with the correct site protocol. This allows for Stopping duplicate content issues. For example: If your website uses HTTPS/HTTP, you must include the right protocol tag. Indicate whether your website uses http://www. You can see that the canonical URL in the example below contains both HTTPS (the proper protocol) and www (the website version).
< url >
Using the tag is an optional but highly recommendable tag to communicate the file’s last modified date to search engine robots. This tag informs search engine robots about the source of the file’s original publisher. Google and other search engines are more likely to be interested in fresh content than you make it seem. Tags can be penalized and negatively affect your website’s visibility within SERPs.
Additional optional tags are the tag. This tag shows search engines how essential sitemap URLs are to you on a scale between 0.0 and 1.0. However, Google claims they don’t currently take the Remember to include tag in your sitemap.
Apart from including the Your XML Sitemap tags should not exceed 50 MB. Also, your sitemap must not exceed 50,000 URLs. Google encourages multiple sitemaps in the event of large files or more than 50,000 URLs. You could organize one sitemap using URLs from blog posts, another sitemap using URLs from product pages, etc. You can also nest multiple sitemaps within one sitemap index file. No matter which route or method you use, upload the sitemaps to Google Search Console. Include the sitemap URLs within your robots.txt. This allows Google and other engines to find all your sitemaps together. I’ll talk more about these topics later.
Other Types Of XML Sitemaps
The standard for technical SEO for XML Sitemap is not the only one you can use. There are other types available that you could use for specific purposes. The two most widely used sitemaps are XML pictures and XML web videos.
Other sitemaps can be used in addition to the typical XML sitemap to enhance SEO. For example, video sitemaps can help search engines find and index video content. Similarly, image sitemaps can help search engines find and index images. Additionally, news sitemaps can help search engines find and index news articles. Businesses can use these different sitemaps to ensure that search engines properly index their content. As a result, they can see a significant increase in their organic traffic levels.
There are several different types of XML sitemaps, each of which serves another purpose. The most common sitemap is the SEO sitemap, designed to help search engines index your website more effectively.
This type of sitemap typically includes all of your site’s pages and any significant changes that have been made recently. Other XML sitemaps include news sitemaps, image sitemaps, and video sitemaps.
These sitemaps help Google News, Images, and other search engines index your content more effectively. Finally, mobile sitemaps are explicitly designed for websites optimized for mobile devices. Mobile sitemaps often include less information than other sitemaps. However, they can still be handy for optimizing your site for mobile search engines.
SITEMAP XML HTML IMAGE
Similar to the XML sitemap standard, an XML picture sitemap allows you to specify the most important images used by search engine robots. Many websites embed images within the web page’s content. This allows search engines to crawl the images alongside the content. This eliminates the need for image sitemaps for most businesses.
An XML Image Sitemap is the best if images are vital to your business.
If images are not used in your business, then use the schema type to call for specific image properties that engines can search—for example, a thumbnail or image caption.
XML sitemaps are vital for any website owner who wants to rank highly on search engine results pages. By providing a clear structure of your site’s content, XML sitemaps make it easy for search engine crawlers to index your pages. Contrarily, HTML sitemaps are created with human users in mind .
They provide a clickable list of all the pages on your site, making it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for. Images play an essential role in both XML and HTML sitemaps. Including relevant images in your sitemaps can help improve your ranking in image search results. In short, XML and HTML sitemaps are essential tools for any website owner who wants to improve their search engine visibility.
XML VIDEO SITEMAP
Technical SEO like XML-image sitemaps, XML-video sitemaps allow you to indicate your most valuable video assets for search engine robots. However, this type is only used if essential videos are part of your business.
Suppose the video does not play an essential role in a business’s operations. In that case, the video object syntax markup will highlight specific video properties to search engines.
Any website that wishes to rank highly in search engines must have an SEO sitemap. They aid search engines in indexing your pages and comprehending the layout of your website. For video material, XML sitemaps are beneficial. You can ensure that your videos are correctly indexed and appear in search results by including video sitemaps.
The SEO of your website can also be significantly improved by using video sitemaps. They can assist in enhancing your click-through rate and raising your likelihood of showing up highly for pertinent keywords. Implementing a video sitemap is a no-brainer if your website has a lot of videos. It’s a simple technique to raise your SEO and guarantee that search engines properly index and rank your videos.
SEO Benefits from XML Web sitemaps
Search engine robots can crawl your URLs with greater intelligence if you include SEO-relevant URLs most important to your website in your XML filemap. This can have a significant impact on how search engines view the quality of your website. According to Search Engine Journal ideally, you should eliminate the following webpages.
- Non-canonical Pages
- Duplicate Pages
- Paginated pages
- URLs that are session ID or parameter based
- Site search result page
- Leave a comment
- Share via email URLs
- filter-generated URLs that do not search engine optimized
- pages of archives
- Any server error pages, missing pages, or redirects (3xx) (5xx)
- Pages that robots.txt has prohibited
- Without an index, there are some pages
- Use a lead-gen form to access resource pages (e.g. Download case study
Google and the other search engines are likely to view these pages differently than specific landing pages. If you don’t want your privacy webpage to be the page visitors encounter when they visit your website, leave it out of your XML Sitemap. This rule will help you to decide which pages to add or remove from your sitemap.
Just because a URL isn’t listed in the sitemap doesn’t guarantee that search engines won’t find it. Through connections to these pages, search engines can still crawl these URLs; your XML sitemap only informs them of your more significant URLs that merit crawl attention. Additionally, it’s crucial to understand that search engines may not always crawl your entire page, and they follow random paths.
An XML Sitemap can communicate the most essential and SEO-relevant URLs to search engine robots. Search engines will not consider your website high quality and authority. It can also reduce the value of your crawl budget. If your sitemap includes fewer essential URLs, indexation opportunities can be lost from critical URLs.
What is an HTML website map?
The HTML sitemaps are the second type sitemap for Technical SEO. These sitemaps help users navigate more than search engine robots. However, they have limited SEO value. HTML sitemaps use anchor links to list every URL on a website by type to aid visitors in finding a particular page. Tackle Warehouse includes links in their footer to their sitemap.
HTML sitemaps are more common than before website navigation buttons were moved to website headers. However, for specific purposes, they can add some SEO value.
Webmasters can use an HTML website map as a tool to assist their site’s SEO. When implemented correctly, an HTML sitemap can make it easier for users to browse your website and for search engines to index your pages more effectively. While there are a few other ways to make an HTML sitemap, using an XML sitemap generator is the most popular method.
These programs will automatically generate a sitemap for you based on the configuration of your website. After creating your sitemap, you must upload it to your server and include a robots.txt file. After completing these steps, your sitemap will be active and start to assist your site’s performance.
SEO Benefits of HTML Sitemaps
If your primary website navigation doesn’t link directly to all your web pages, consider creating an HTML sitemap. Let’s again look at Tackle Warehouse. An HTML sitemap may provide SEO benefits since its navigation menu does NOT link to every page. Instead, their main navigation consists of the highest-level product categories with links to more specific subcategories.
An HTML sitemap is also helpful if your site has a large section that search engines cannot find, or you have important pages that you would ordinarily bury in the main navigation (e.g. Your sitemap is used by visitors, support pages, and other areas. You can consider moving your popular sitemap link into your navigation menu to address the former. This will further optimize your menu to search engines.
What is the robots.txt file exactly?
Your robots.txt file which is a type of Technical SEO will be the first-page search engine bots view when they access your website. This is why it’s a brilliant idea to include your XML (or XML) sitemap(s). Search engines can use this information to find your most relevant URLs. This simple text file is located in your website’s root directory. The file tells search engine crawlers which pages they should be able to crawl. Robotstxt.org outlines these two important considerations while using robots.txt
- Search engine bots can ignore your robots.txt. Robots to detect malware.
- Anyone can view a domain’s robots.txt file by searching domain.com/robots.txt.
The key message here is: don’t hide any information using robots.txt. Even though you have disallowed search engine crawlers from crawling certain pages, search engines may still index those pages in search results if another site links to that page. Search engine spiders will then follow that link back to your page.
SEO Benefits for Robots.txt
Search engines use robots.txt to guide them on how to crawl websites. The information in your robots.txt will guide the crawl actions of search engine bots. A robots.txt file can communicate how search engines should crawl your site and help direct them to the XML sitemap that contains your most relevant URLs.
How to Use a Robots.txt file
You can stop search engines from crawling particular parts of your website using a robots.txt file. Suppose your sitemaps are on a different domain than your primary website or in a subdirectory that isn’t automatically indexed (like /blog). In that case, you may also use a robots.txt file to describe their position.
The most widely used search engines will disregard anything on your site if you create an empty file called “robots” in the root directory. This will stop all bots, even those that follow sitemaps, from accessing it. The only negative is that specific, more advanced bots might still be able to access particular portions of your website because of their algorithms and rules, so proceed with caution when using this.
You may tell search engines what information on your website they should and shouldn’t crawl using a robots.txt file, which is simply plain text. If you wish to guide search engines to new sitemaps or want to omit some sites from search engine results, including these kinds of directives in your robots.txt file is the best course of action.
The format for a robots.txt file is as follows:
This is an illustration of how a simple robots.txt would seem.
Userland Agent: *
How to Submit Your Sitemap for Google Search Console
Google Search Console is the best way to tell Google or other search engines where your website’s sitemap is.
You must have owner permission to submit a Sitemap on a property using GSC’s Sitemaps tools. If you don’t have owner permission, you may submit your robots.txt to the property and reference your website from this file.
This is where you must ensure your sitemap follows one of Google’s accepted formats.
- Open GSC. Navigate to Sitemaps in the left-hand menu.
- Submit your sitemap URL to Add a new Sitemap.
- Click Submit.
Once your sitemap has been submitted, you can see its status (e.g. You can view the sitemap’s status, such as whether all URLs have been successfully crawled, and also monitor for critical errors. Google Sitemaps report help describes how to view the report and the potential errors.
We trust that this post has expanded your understanding of sitemaps, how robots use them, and how to make your own. If you have questions concerning sitemaps or would like to start constructing one for your website, kindly email us at [email protected].
Let’s wrap up by discussing some of the main takeaways from this post. We learned that a sitemap is an essential tool for search engine optimization (SEO). Sitemaps help provide information about your website to Google, Bing, and other search engines and help them crawl through your site more efficiently.
You can create XML and HTML web sitemaps with the Yoast SEO plugin or use our free Google Sitemap Generator!
Sitemaps are not intimidating. The following key points can help you improve your website’s communication with search engine spiders.
- You can use an XML Sitemap to communicate your most important, SEO-relevant URLs with search engines.
- Don’t include URLs that are less important in your sitemap. Search engines may not be impressed with your website’s authority or will waste their crawl budget.
- Only use an HTML Sitemap in specific use cases.
- Don’t hide information using your robots.txt file.
- Use your robots.txt files to explain how search engine crawlers should crawl your website.
- Include your sitemap within your robots.txt.
- To help search engines detect errors and prevent them from crawling your sitemap, upload your sitemap to GSC.
Contact D’Marketing Agency
Sitemaps and Robots are essential tools for technical SEO, and they help search engines crawl and index your website content. At D’Marketing Agency, we can help you create and submit sitemaps and robot files to optimize your website for search engines.
Contact D’Marketing Agency today to learn more about our services or to get started!