A sitemap is a representation of the architecture of a web site. It can be either a document in any form used as a planning tool for web design, or a web page that lists the pages on a web site, typically organized in hierarchical fashion. This helps visitors and search engine bots find pages on the site.
In general, there are two types of sitemaps:
1. The first type of sitemap is a HTML page listing the pages of your site – often by section – and is meant to help users find the information they need.
2. The second sitemap is XML Sitemap – usually called Sitemaps, with a capital S – are a way for you to give Google information about your site. This is the type of Sitemap we’ll be discussing in this article.
There are following types of the sitemaps also according to contents:
a. Video Sitemaps
b. Mobile Sitemaps
c. News Sitemaps
d. Code Search Sitemaps
e. Geo Sitemaps
Creating a Sitemap
In general, there are two types of sitemaps. The first type of sitemap is a HTML page listing the pages of your site – often by section – and is meant to help users find the information they need. While this type of sitemap can help both visitors and search engines navigate your site, it’s different from an XML Sitemap that can be submitted to Google using Webmaster Tools.
XML Sitemaps – usually called Sitemaps, with a capital S – are a way for you to give Google information about your site. This is the type of Sitemap we’ll be discussing in this article.
You can create a Sitemap in a number of different ways:
Manually create a Sitemap based on the Sitemap protocol
Use the Sitemap Generator
If you have access to your web server and it has Python installed, you can use our script to create a Sitemap that uses the Sitemap protocol. The Google Sitemap Generator is a Python script that creates a Sitemap for your site using the Sitemap Protocol. This script can create Sitemaps from URL lists, web server directories, or from access logs.
Use a third-party tool. A number of third parties offer tools you can use to create a valid Sitemap.
To create a Sitemap based on the Sitemap protocol:
Create a text file and save it with a .xml extension.
Add the following to the top of the file:
Add the following to the bottom of the file:
Create an entry for each URL. The tag is required; the others are optional.
Upload your Sitemap to your site. Then submit it to Google using Webmaster Tools.
Submitting a Sitemap
The first time you submit a Sitemap to Google, you must submit it by adding it to your Google Webmaster Tools account. This enables Google to provide you with useful status and statistical information.
From your account, you can see if there are problems with your Sitemap or with any of the URLs listed in it. If you are adding a Mobile Sitemap, you must specify the markup language for the URLs contained in the Sitemap.
You can also tell Google and other search engines about your Sitemap by including the location of the Sitemap in your robots.txt file. We still recommend that you submit your Sitemap through your Webmaster Tools account so you can make sure that the Sitemap was processed without any issues, and to get additional statistics about your site.