What is a sitemap.xml, and why should you use it?

XML sitemaps permit Google to find the most important pages of your website quickly.

When ranking your website, there are many different SEO factors to consider. Keywords, meta descriptions, title tags, and headlines are the most common. Aside from these, XML sitemaps also play an important role in SEO ranking. This may be your first time hearing about sitemaps, but you could be using them since the creation of your website, especially if you have large archives. XML sitemaps permit Google to find the most important pages of your website quickly. This is regardless of whether your internal linking is good or not. To learn more about this element, here's what it is and why you should use them.

What is an XML sitemap?

When your internal linking doesn't work to identify the essential pages of your website, an XML sitemap is the one that helps Google determine these essential pages. This element lists these pages so that Google can find them easily.

If you are familiar with YoastSEO, a popular plugin you can integrate into your website, you will understand an XML sitemap better. This plugin has 14 sitemaps in its XML Sitemap Index file, such as video-sitemap.xml, page-sitemap.xml, and post-sitemap.xml. The categories make it possible for the website's structure to be as clean as possible.

Why should you use an XML sitemap?

It's good for large websites or those with large archives.

The main reason why XML sitemaps exist is because of large websites. According to Google, these elements are helpful mainly to large sites or those with large archives. It would be hard for any search engine to determine the most important pages of your website without an element that can make the identification easier. Internal linking might not work all the time. While Google specifies that only large websites or those with large archives can benefit from XML sitemaps, you can still make it to your advantage regardless of the size of your website as long as you will use them properly.

It helps you reach your target market easier.

For those who have new blogs, XLM sitemaps will help you reach your target market easier. As a starter, you will want Google to look for new posts as fast as it can to ensure that your target readers find your website on the first page of the search results. In this case, plugging in XML sitemaps is a good idea. This element will be your assistant as you develop more content for your website. It doesn't matter if your website has thin content. You can leave the tags to sitemaps in the meantime.

It can guide you on tackling content duplication problems.

Duplication issues are common, especially for those who publish a lot of content. Content duplication may refer to content syndication or republishing without the permission of the author. Google is not in favor of content duplication. It can penalize spammy websites. If it's not your intention to publish blogs with the same content, you can utilize XLM sitemaps to tell Google that you are the original author of the duplicated content. The sitemap has the capability to show the published date of the content.

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