I’m glad you’re interested in learning about sitemaps for SEO. According to Google Developers, a sitemap is a file that provides information about the pages, videos, and other files on your site and the relationships between them. Sitemaps help search engines like Google more intelligently crawl your site and understand its structure.
In 2023, sitemaps are still an important part of SEO. They help search engines find, crawl, and index all of your website’s content. There are four main types of sitemaps: normal XML sitemaps, video sitemaps, news sitemaps, and image sitemaps. The most common type of sitemap is the Normal XML Sitemap, which is usually in the form of an XML file that links to different pages on your website
Creating a sitemap is easy. With the Yoast SEO plugin, you may get a sitemap created for WordPress users. If you don’t use WordPress, there are lots of other plugins available for different CMSs that you can use to create a sitemap. Once your sitemap is created, I recommend manually taking a look at it to ensure it displays all of the pages on your site.
Sitemaps are important because they help search engines like Google find different pages on your site. The majority of your website should typically be accessible to web crawlers if its pages are correctly linked. However, if your site is brand new and only has a handful of external backlinks, or if you run an e-commerce site with millions of pages, then a sitemap is crucial for assisting Google in finding pages on your website.
For a good heading for an article about sitemaps for SEO in 2023, I suggest “Sitemaps: The Blueprint for Your Website’s Success in 2023”. This heading emphasises the importance of sitemaps in SEO and how they can help search engines understand your website’s structure.
How do I submit my sitemap to Google?
To submit your sitemap to Google, you can follow these steps:
Make sure your sitemap is in the root folder of your website and is publicly accessible.
Register your website with Google Search Console if you haven’t already done so.
In the left sidebar of the Search Console, select your website.
Click on “Sitemaps”.
Enter the URL slug of the sitemap you want to submit under “Add a new sitemap”. For example, if you want to submit the sitemap for your entire site, enter “sitemap.xml”.
Once you’ve submitted your sitemap, Google will verify that it can be found and read. If you’re using WordPress, you can use the Yoast SEO plugin to create a sitemap for you. If you’re not using WordPress, there are other plugins available for different CMSs that you can use to create a sitemap
What is the difference between a sitemap and a robots.txt file?
A sitemap is an XML file that lists all the URLs or webpages of your website. Its purpose is to inform the search engines of all the webpages that it should crawl on your website. On the other hand, a robots.txt file is created to signify to the search engines which pages to crawl and which pages to omit.
The Robots Exclusion Protocol is used to tell search engine crawlers which URLs they should not request when crawling a website. The exclusion instructions are placed into a text file named Robots.txt, which is located at the root of the website. The majority of search engine crawlers typically search for this file and adhere to its instructions.
In summary, while sitemaps inform search engines of all the webpages that they should crawl on your website, robots.txt files author is search engine crawlers to determine whether URLs on your site should be crawled or not.
How do I create a robots.txt file?
Creating a robots.txt file is a simple, four-step process:
Create a file named robots.txt.
In the robots.txt file, add rules to manage search engine crawlers.
Site Place the robots.txt file in the website’s root directory.
Test the robots.txt file.
You can use almost any text editor to create a robots.txt file, such as Notepad, TextEdit, vi, and emacs. However, avoid using word processors, as they often save files in a proprietary format and can add unexpected characters, such as curly quotes, which can cause problems for crawlers. If UTF-8 encoding is requested during the save file window, make sure to do so.
The root of the website host to which it applies must contain the robots.txt file. For example, if your website is www.example.com, then your robots.txt file should be located at. example/robots.txt.
Once you’ve created your robots.txt file, you can add rules to it that control which pages search engine crawlers can access on your site. The disallow directive can be used to prevent certain directories or pages from being indexed by search engines.
SEO stands for search engine optimisation. It is a set of practises designed to improve the appearance, positioning, and usefulness of multiple types of content in organic search results. SEO practitioners optimise websites, web pages, and content for the purposes of ranking higher in search engines like Google