Sitemaps are regularly overlooked by webmasters, despite the very basic nature of a sitemap and the usefulness it can have above and beyond SEO.
A sitemap is a page on your site with a link to every other page. Sitemaps serve several purposes -they allow access to your entire site without the need to go through browsing the entire site. If you have a sitemap, you don’t ever have to worry about finding all your links – you have a directory ready to hand.
Sitemap have also become a cornerstone of good Search Engine Optimization. Since they display your site hierarchy and architecture on one page, the Search Engine spiders which come to your website don’t need to work hard to find all the pages. This is most relevant with sites that haves thousands of pages – the sitemap helps the spider to rapidly crawl each and every page no matter how big the website is. In addition, the webmaster can stop stressing and wondering if all the pages are been crawled correctly by the Search Engine spider.
Important benefits of your sitemap:
A sitemap helps sites with huge number of pages to get crawled easily by the search engine spiders. It also makes it easier for the spider to find deep linked pages so the crawler need not work so hard to find them.
Distributes pages correctly, letting you maneuver and sculpt your Page Rank. If you connect every page of your site with all the others, that can affect the Page Rank of important pages. You don’t want basic pages like your ‘about us’ page, which is only designed for visitors, to be linked to each and every page. These actions can bleed the Page Rank away from your important page. Instead, link there from the home page and from the sitemap, and keep Page Rank intact on important pages.
Creating a useful sitemap
Ensure that your sitemap is linked to only from your homepage and not all the other pages, since linking it only to home page will leave plenty of Page Rank to spread quickly to all the pages on your website.
If your site is more than 30 pages, limit the number of pages listed on your sitemap to 30. and have secondary pages for your site map following the linking hierarchy and site architecture. This will prevent Search Engine Spiders from viewing it as a link farm. Even visitors will have trouble with a huge site map, so order your links accordingly. Use drop down if needed, or an expand code.
Google has developed a solution for big websites called Site Map Technology. This technology was created to list websites faster (http://www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/docs/en/about.html). If your site map is created using XML format and follows Google guidelines, then your site will be indexed faster.
To submit your XML Google Sitemap using an HTTP request, submit your request to the following URL:
You should always upload your sitemap.xml file to the root directory of your server. (This is where your homepage is located.) Then notify Google Sitemaps of your XML file.