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A sitemap is a way of organizing a website, identifying the URLs and the data under each section. Previously, the sitemaps were primarily geared for the users of the website. However, Google's XML format was designed for the search engines, allowing them to find the data faster and more efficiently.

 

What is sitemap?

By placing a formatted xml file with site map on your webserver, you enable Search Engine crawlers (like Google) to find out what pages are present and which have recently changed, and to crawl your site accordingly.

 

 

 

 

 

Search Engine Giants Adopting the XML Protocol

If you own or maintain a website or intend to own one, wouldn't it be great if you get frequent visitors who find satisfaction in getting exactly the information they need from your page?

 

Back in 2005, the search engine Google launched the Sitemap 0.84 Protocol, designed to use the XML format.

 

A sitemap is a way of organizing a website, identifying the URLs and the data under each section. Previously, the sitemaps were primarily geared for the users of the website. However, Google's XML format was designed for the search engines, allowing them to find the data faster and more efficiently.

 

Google's new sitemap protocol was developed in response to the increasing size and complexity of websites. Business websites often contained hundreds of products in their catalogues; while the popularity of blogging led to webmasters updating their material at least once a day, not to mention popular community-building tools like forums and message boards. As websites got bigger and bigger, it was difficult for search engines to keep track of all this material, sometimes "skipping" information as it crawled through these rapidly changing pages.

 

Through the XML protocol, search engines could track the URLs more efficiently, optimizing their search by placing all the information in one page. XML also summarizes how frequently a particular website is updated, and records the last time any changes were made.

 

XML sitemaps were not, as some people thought, a tool for search engine optimization. It does not affect ranking, but it does allow search engines to make more accurate rankings and searches. It does this by providing the data that a search engine needs, and putting it one place-quite handy, given that there are millions of websites to plough through.

 

To encourage other search engines to adopt the XML protocol, Google published it under the Attribution/Share Alike Creative Commons license. Its efforts paid off. Recently, Google happily announced that Yahoo and Microsoft had agreed to "officially support" the XML protocol which has now been updated to the Sitemap 0.9 protocol This is good news for website owners, and an applaud able sign of cooperation between known competitors.

 

 

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