With Google’s capabilities, for sure, it can discover new content around the digital realm. Still, having a sitemap ready can greatly enhance website crawling. If you need help on terms such as crawling and indexing, refer to my post on: Understanding How Search Engines Work. To be honest, a sitemap will not 100% ensure that your entire website will be crawled and indexed. However, it won’t hurt having one.
Sitemap is needed IF:
- The website is huge. If you have a humungous site, there may be pages that are missed by the website crawlers.
- Having many content that are orphan pages. What do I mean by orphaned pages? These are the pages are not linked together. You see, when a website crawler notices a link, it will scan all the links it sees. If a page does not contain a link, it will stop crawling. So, if you don’t specify on your sitemap, these pages without any links will never be discovered by search engines.
- Your site is still new. Like a said earlier, a website crawler scans every link they see and it will continue the process until there are no links in a page. If your website is fairly new, there would be no links about it. Having a specific sitemap will tell these web crawlers that they should check this link.
- Lastly, if you feature various multimedia content, then you should have a sitemap. Google looks for information about pictures and videos when searching for the latest news.
Sitemap is NOT necessary IF:
- You only manage a “tiny” site. By tiny, it means that the website could have 500 web pages or even less.
- The website is powered by Blogger, Wix, and other simple hosting services. Because if you signed up on these services, most propbably, there are already built-in pages and features, which includes a sitemap. So, no need for you to generate one for your small-scale website. To be sure, you can search your host’s help page and search for “sitemap.” Usually, it will give you a heads up if you need one or if it is automatically created for you.
- Internal links are firmly established. If Google can find the integral pages of your website, then a sitemap is not needed. If from the main page Google can already locate other important pages, it’s all good.
- Sitemaps are necessary in identifying multimedia files. So, if you don’t post any video content or image files, then, having a sitemap is not needed. If your website does not aim to appear in the “video” and “image” search results, don’t bother generating one.
What Are Sitemaps Anyway?
A sitemap, usually .XML in format, is a file wherein all the website’s contents are listed. It provides the necessary information about each important page in a website. This include information about images, videos, and other contents of the website. Major search engines refer to the sitemaps provided in order to understand a website more clearly. With a sitemap, Google can quickly locate the important pages of your website. To know more about sitemaps, please refer to this Search Console help page.