Posted by Anal Bhatt
July 16, 2013
Sitemaps can prove to be very useful to determine how the website is indexed. If implemented intelligently, you can leverage more out of it will less effort and maintenance.
XML sitemaps are very common tools on every e-commerce or web developers toolbox. Let’s say you have a website with 1,000 pages, you will need this. If it is more than 10,000 pages, you undeniably need it. Sites with frequent changes and lots of new content added needs an XML sitemap.
A very effective way is to use multiple sitemaps and breaking the sitemaps into logical groups as given below:
• Categories Only – This XML file will have only the category or department pages.
• Boilerplate Pages – This XML file will have the static boilerplate pages like “contact us”, “about us”, privacy, TOS, etc.
• Blog – This XML file will have links to your blog pages. It should have listing for individual posts, archives, tags, author pages and any other templates you are using.
An HTML sitemap is an old school landing page for users to find all (or most) of your pages on your web site via single page. In many cases, for large sites, a site would require many HTML sitemaps to make this useful.
The most crucial element of HTML sitemaps is the structure and organization of links. By creating an easily understandable hierarchy, users will be able to follow a content path down to individual pages and crawl bots will be able to see the relationship between different pages.
Optimized Anchor Text
It is vital to use relevant, keyword-rich anchor text when creating an HTML sitemap. As a result, it will inherit PageRank from the homepage, which means an increase in authority. Using well-optimized anchor text when linking from the HTML sitemap to relevant pages will improve the link quality score for the pages being linked to.
If a site contains hosted videos, utilizing a video sitemap will inform search engines about video content and updates.
An HTML sitemap should be a fixed page, rather than an image or flash file. This will ensure search engines can properly read the sitemap.
A well-optimized HTML sitemap is not only a best practice, but also has a direct, positive impact on organic rankings according to Matt Cutts, head of the Google Search Quality Team.
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