Are Sitemaps necessary?
Absolutely! Sitemaps help web crawler discover pages from links within your site and from links in other sites. The crawler picks up all the URLs in the sitemap and associates them with metadata. Basically, it gives web crawlers pointers on how to crawl your site better.
In order for all the pages in your website to be indexed, the sitemap should be located in the root of your websites and include the following:
- The <urlset> tag should be the opening and close with </urlset> tag
- Each URL should have a <url> entry as a parent XML tag
- Each child entry for each <url> parent tag should be tagged with <loc>
Sitemaps dictates a Sitemap Protocol 0.9 that Google adheres to. Therefore, the sitemaps created for Google will be compatible with other search engines that assume the same standards. It will look something like this:
<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
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