What are Sitemaps?
Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages on their sites that are available for crawling. In its simplest form, a Sitemap (Peta Situs -Indonesia) is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL (when it was last updated, how often it usually changes, and how important it is, relative to other URLs in the site) so that search engines can more intelligently crawl the site.
Web crawlers usually discover pages from links within the site and from other sites. Sitemaps supplement this data to allow crawlers that support Sitemaps to pick up all URLs in the Sitemap and learn about those URLs using the associated metadata. Using the Sitemap protocol does not guarantee that web pages are included in search engines, but provides hints for web crawlers to do a better job of crawling your site.
What are the differences between these two types of sitemaps?
HTML sitemaps are created and available for viewing by website visitors to help them navigate through a website. Usually, they are setup with a linear structure showing the hierarchy of the site from top level pages to lower level ones. They provide the user with a very easy to read outline of content, making their navigation to their desired content easier.
XML sitemaps are a little different from HTML sitemaps, because they are intended for search engines and spiders not website visitors. XML sitemaps can be visible with any web browser, but their main function is to provide the URLs of a website to search engines. They even show data on how often a page has been changed compared to other URLs on the same site. This information is very important for search engines because the more links they are provided with, the more a website will appear in search engine results.
Why do websites need both a HTML and XML sitemap?
Here are the key reasons why sitemaps should be used on every website:
Clarifying the website’s purpose and goal.
Avoiding duplicated data.
Minimizing the number of steps it takes to go from a page to another.
Communicate the web site’s architecture and hierarchy.
Without a proper sitemap, some of your priority pages could be missed by search engines. Search engines won’t be able to find your content and will most likely not include your website in search engine results. If you want to compete with your competitors in Google, try just submitting your sitemap. It will make a world of difference and you will be glad that you did.
In addition, sitemaps can be used by project managers and provide a foundation and organization to a web development project. The sitemaps can be formatted on a hierarchy-like structure and everyone will be able to see the website’s final structure.
Lastly, it will help users navigate through the site and find their desired content. Websites with large amounts of content will take more time and effort to be searched through by users. A sitemap will utilize the site in such a way that users will easily be able to access the content they want to see.