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Why do I need sitemap.xml

Any experienced site manager knows what a site map is and what sitemap is for, which are actually different names of the same file. But apparently you are not one of these experienced guys and went to this page to find out what the site map gives.

So, sitemap.xml is a site map that is a file with a detailed list of all web resource pages that should be indexed by search engines.

Why do you need a site map for search engine robots? Can't they figure it out and scan all the pages? 

Of course they can. But setting sitemap.xml properly helps search engine bots:

  • understand which pages are new on the web resource and need indexation;
  • prioritize pages depending on the indicated parameters;
  • find out when the latest changes were made in pages that have already been indexed earlier;


The sitemap.xml fragment is an example of the last date of change:

  • remember page update frequency;
  • index all the necessary pages without exception, since if there is no site map and the study is blind, there is a high probability that it will simply skip some of them.

In other words, a site map (sitemap.xml) is what is a kind of guide to your site, which significantly “splays life” to search engine robots and thereby increases their confidence. And this in turn adds to the web resource several very necessary additional rating points.
Well, to imagine what a site map looks like - an example:

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Correct site map setting

In order for robots not to “clash” when viewing a map of your web resource, you need to know how to configure sitemap.xml correctly and which ones exist mandatory conditions:

  1. It is not allowed to use any file encodings other than UTF- 8.
  2. Maximum size sitemap.xml - 10 Mb.
  3. Page Address Limit in the body of sitemap.xml - 50 thousand.
  4. If one of the previous two indicators is exceeded, the setup of sitemap.xml involves a breakdown of it into several files.
  5. All links must be in the format:

  6. The file must be stored in the root folder. web resource.

How to configure sitemap.xml

Setting sitemap.xml is one of the following ways:

  1. Manually. Quite painstaking work that you yourself should do if your web resource consists of a small number of pages. Assumes the availability of skills in working with the main tags. 
  2. Customize sitemap.xml using specialized online services. There are both paid and free options. All of them work according to a similar principle - indicate the main address of your site, the initial settings and get the generated result. Most often, they have a limit to 5000 page addresses per file.

  3. Use of generator programs. Setting sitemap.xml with their help has a number of advantages (the maximum possible number of addresses included, a large number of settings) and one slightly negative point - almost all “serious” options are delivered subject to the acquisition of a license (from 20 $).

Summing up...

... you should repeat yourself again and indicate that the correct setup of sitemap.xml can very have a positive effect on page indexing speed Your web resource and general opinion of search engines about him. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you create a map for each of your sites and monitor its timely updates.

Perhaps you have your own personal experience regarding the topic of this article? Tell us about it in the comments!