XML Sitemaps was started by Google. Today, its standard is maintained by sitemaps.org and adopted by Yahoo and MSN search. What good does XML Sitemaps do for you?
Unlike sitemaps on websites viewed by surfers, XML Sitemaps caters more to search engine crawlers. Today's web pages are beyond simple HTML; search engine crawlers have trouble recognizing content with newer technology. As a result, some pages would be missed. By using XML Sitemaps, a 'crawler' can index pages that wouldn't be looked at otherwise. Some people think XML Sitemaps helps search result rankings, but it doesn't: When pages that haven't been looked at become indexed because of XML Sitemaps, the pages start showing up on search results. It seems like the ranking has been improved, but XML Sitemaps don't affect actual rankings.
Eye of the Crawler
On top of that, XML Sitemaps includes the date of last modification and frequency of changes. This information helps search engines to decide when to crawl your pages. If you have a site with a large number of frequently updated content, newly added pages will be indexed more quickly. But, you need to re-submit updated XML Sitemaps to search engines. Everyone submits their very first XML Sitemaps, but quite a few people forget about re-submitting the updated XML Sitemaps. So, don't forget!
© May, 2009