An Overview of Google Sitemaps

What are Google Sitemaps, and why are they important? Simply put, Google Sitemaps allow you to tell Google about your site; which pages are the most important, which pages change most often, and, perhaps most important of all, the location of pages that cannot be easily accessed by a spider, such as pages that can only be found through a search feature.

When used properly, Sitemap allow you to ensure that your site is not partially or incompletely crawled. It also allows for less important pages to be crawled less frequently, ensuring that more of the search engine's focus goes to pages you consider more important.

So why are Sitemaps important? Well, first of all, if you have pages which are not easily accessible through simple HTML links, using Sitemaps isn't just important; it's vital. Because spiders work by following links from one page to another within your site, any page not accessible through easy links may not be indexed without a sitemap. And it's not just Google. All search engines, or nearly all, work this way. When you have submitted a Sitemap to Google, Google is able to bypass the process of following links within your site. Google is able to index your pages directly, using the Sitemap.

The same goes for dynamic pages, or any pages with little or no HTML content. Sitemapping is a great way to list pages that would otherwise be lost in cyberspace. If you want to be found on the internet, it's important to make it as easy on surfers as possible. Working with search engines using Google Sitemaps is an important way of doing that.

Nor do you only benefit with Google's search engines. Other search engines can access and crawl your Sitemap, which allows you to interact with them, as well.

It should be noted that using Google Sitemaps does not improve your page ranking directly. Pages that use Sitemaps won't automatically rise above pages that don't in the rankings. What Sitemaps do offer is a tool that allows you to interact directly with search engines, working with them to make sure that your website itself is one that they can easily crawl. In turn, this allows you to improve your site in such a way that it does rank higher.

Using Google Sitemaps can be a tricky and tedious process. New webmasters can easily become lost in the slurry of technical jargon involved in creating a Sitemap and using the Sitemaps feature. It's a geeky feature, created by geeks, for geeks. But it more than makes up for it by making even pages that are hard or impossible to crawl, available to search engines.

That's why TechKnowSys routinely uses the Google Sitemaps feature on behalf of their clients. We know the importance of working with the search engines to develop your site and improve your rankings.

If you would like to see what a sitemap looks like, take a look at TechKnowSys's Sitemap.

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