sitemap

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A sitemap is a list of pages on a website.

Why

Navigability

It can be easier to find the content you're looking for on a sitemap, since they are typically text-heavy pages and do not require navigating through a site which may be loading lots of Javascript or image content.

Organization Examples

Examples of corporate or other organization sites with sitemaps.

Subsites

Some sites have subsites, e.g. at subdomains, which have their own sitemaps.

Yahoo (note the inconsistent paths and presentations)

Past Examples

Brainstorming

sitemap microformat

See http://microformats.org/wiki/sitemap for the effort to develop a sitemap microformat to markup visible sitemap pages for semantic crawling and indexing, eliminating any need for a separate XML sitemap sidefile.

XML sitemap

There is also an XML sitemap file format:

However, this XML sitemap file is a sidefile that is subject to the same risks of feed files.

Why XML sitemap

XML sitemap indexing

Google Webmaster Tools suggests[1] creating an XML file in the sitemaps.org format and submitting it with the claim that their crawler can "more intelligently crawl your site"[2]. Despite that, they also say that using a sitemap "doesn't guarantee you that all the web pages listed in your sitemap can be crawled or indexed".

XML sitemap unnecessary

On 2014-12-18, Aaron Parecki discovered that his sitemap.xml file had been empty, with no idea of how long it had been empty. Despite that, his content continues to be indexed by Google.

IndieWeb XML sitemaps

See Also