A sitemap is a guide in a website that contains links to all the other pages in the website. It helps search engine crawlers and internet users to find the information and content they are looking for. Typically, a sitemap is organized in a hierarchical fashion with the most authoritative pages being listed higher up in the document. The URLs and links to different pages on a website are contained in sitemap files. These links are placed together so that web crawlers can easily find them and redirect users to the content and information they are looking for. Since, Google, Yahoo, Ask and Bing use the same sitemap protocol, having a sitemap in your website greatly enhances the online visibility of your website. It is therefore that you create a sitemap, which can be done with the aid of a website mapping tool.
Typically, every website must have at least two different types of sitemaps, XML sitemaps and HTML sitemaps. The XML sitemap is essential for proper indexing, crawling of pages on your website by search engines while HTML is designed for web users and placed on the home page of the site. A single XML sitemap is recommended for basic and small websites with about hundred pages. Creating both sitemaps is effortless, especially when using a sitemap generator. There are however many other compatible formats you can have, but at the moment, the two are highly recommended. Irrespective of the type of format, you may have to create more than one sitemap for a single website, depending on the site’s size.
1.) How often sitemaps need to change/update?
a.) When you are making a lot of changes to URLs in a short amount of time, such as with a website redesign or redevelopment,
2,) Multiple sitemaps for a single website?
a.) Yes, Good practice only for WEBSITES WITH MULTILINGUAL CONTENT & bigger websites with 50,000 URLs (>10mb sitemap size)
3.) How many types of sitemaps?
a.) XML & HTML sitemaps both are mandatory for every website. XML sitemaps are for crawler & HTML sitemaps are for both users & crawlers
4.) Can a single sitemap be used for both Google & Bing?
a.) Yes, The purpose of the sitemap is to show the path & value of the pages to the crawler either Google, Bing or Yahoo.