Why do you need an XML sitemap and how do you create one yourself?

Why do you need an XML sitemap and how do you create one yourself?

Earlier we talked about how to create an HTML map for users and promised to talk about an XML sitemap created for search engines. Here, in fact, we dedicate this article to this. Let’s figure out what exactly is an XML sitemap? Why is it needed? And how to create it?

XML sitemap Is a file located in the root directory of the site with information for search engines (such as Yandex, Google, Rambler, Bing and others) about the pages of your site. This file is needed to make it easier for search engines to index your site.

How it works?

When visiting a site, a search robot first of all reads instructions in the robots.txt file on how to index the site. And if you indicate in it that there is a sitemap.xml sitemap, then the robot will go to the specified address, which lists the URLs of the most important pages of the site, which are subject to mandatory indexing.

Therefore, do not forget that the sitemap.xml file must not only be placed on your site, but you must specify the path to it in robots.txt in the sitemap directive

Example:

User-agent: Yandex
Allow: /
Sitemap: http://mysite.ru/site_structure/my_sitemaps.xml

This is how an XML sitemap will make the job of a search engine easier and provide quality indexing for your site.

How do I create an XML sitemap?

It is not hard. There are several free programs and sites on the network that will automatically generate such a map for you. Some of them are: sitemapgenerator.ru, xml-sitemaps.com, cy-pr.com/tools/sitemap/

Consider creating a sitemap using xml-sitemaps.com as an example:

  1. Enter the site address in the first line, right after http: //. It should look something like this: http://1ps.ru/

  2. In the second line, select the frequency of refreshing the site pages. Possible values ​​are every hour (“Hourly”), day (“Daily”), once a week (“Weekly”), once a month (“Monthly”), once a year (“Yearly”). If you select “None”, the refresh rate will not be recorded in the Sitemap. We recommend choosing Weekly or Daily.

  3. In the third line, we set the date of the last update of the site pages. It is most convenient to choose the current date, which is reflected in the last selection item.

  4. We set the priority for the pages of the site: “None” – means that the priority is not fundamental, “Automatically Calculated Priority” – the program will automatically determine the priority pages and draw up a sitemap taking them into account.

  5. We press the button “Start”.

    It will take some time for the map to be generated, after which the following text will appear:

    It informs you that the map has been successfully created, and all you have to do is:

    1. Upload the file with the map to the root directory of your site (you can download the file by the link here).

    2. After placement, check for the presence of a map at http: //your_site/sitemap.xml, add it to robots.txt and in the Yandex and Google webmasters panel, so that search robots can start targeting it.

    That’s it, it’s done – the xml map is ready! Just remember that the xml map is for search robots. And for users, it doesn’t hurt to create a regular HTML sitemap. For optimization, by the way, it will not be superfluous either.

    How to create a Sitemap for users, we have already written in our blog.

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