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Image map of the site: why you need it and how to configure it

About the need for availability site maps with a list of pages present on it to increase the efficiency of its promotion in search engines and the nuances of its configuration, we have already written. Today we want to tell you why and how to use sitemap for site images.

The fact that search robots are guided by the contents of this file when visiting a site is known to more or less familiar with the basics of the SEO webmaster. At the same time, many do not attach importance to the participation of site images in the search and do not bother with setting up sitemap for pictures, or even do not know about this point.

But in some cases, a search engine without the help of a webmaster will not be able to index all the graphic files of the site (for example, if it is loaded via Javascript).

Also, compiling sitemap for pictures contributes to a more thorough indexing of the contents of web resources with a large number of pages and nesting levels.

In addition, full participation in the search for pictures can be a good source of obtaining additional traffic to the site.


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What you need to know about sitemap for images

  1. The image map of the site can be placed both as part of the existing sitemap.xml with a list of pages, and in a separate file, which can be called, for example, sitemap2 or sitemapimages. The main thing in this case is not to forget to write the corresponding line in robots.txt.

  2. In sitemap for pictures, not just link lists are prescribed, but special tags, with which the search engine receives basic as well as additional information about the images.

  3. When compiling a map of site images, you can specify up to 1000 graphic objects for each of its pages. So, for example, a fragment of sitemap pictures will look like this, indicating the presence of three images on the same page:


How to compile a map of site images

  1. Sitemap for pictures is possible draw up manually, following the above example of the structure of this file. Of course, this is justified only when the site does not have a very large number of graphic files.
  2. With one of the many online services. Most of them offer to generate a map of the site images for a fee. But free options can also be found.

    For example, in the service, the screenshot of which is located above, you just need to enter the address of the website, which requires you to make sitemap images and wait a couple of minutes. Then the generated code must be copied and pasted into a new file created in the Notebook and saved to the root of the site with the extension .xml.
  3. Using plugins, installed in CMS (Yoast SEO, Udinra Image Sitemap, etc. are suitable for Wordpress), it is even easier to form a map of site images.
    They usually have the opportunity to configure which tags, except the main ones, will be used, which will allow you to adjust the degree of completeness of the information about the pictures transmitted to search engines.

    There is also no need to mess with creating a file in .xml format and placing it in the root directory of the web resource - such plugins do all this automatically.


Sitemap for pictures and Yandex

The ability to create a separate sitemap for images described in the article is relevant only for Google. Regrettably, Yandex does not know how to recognize the tags invented by Google to describe the pictures.

Therefore, in order not to see errors and warnings when checking the site map in Yandex.Webmaster, you can make two files - one ordinary with a list of pages, and the second for pictures. Then Yandex needs to “feed” only the standard sitemap.xml, and Google both.

As a result of creating sitemap for images, you can significantly increase the degree of your site’s presence in the search for pictures (in Google), receiving an improvement in position and additional traffic as a reward.

Who already uses such a site map? Leave your opinion and recommendations in the comments.