Types of Sitemaps in SEO

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Types of Sitemaps in SEO

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    What is a Sitemap?

    A sitemap is a file that provides information about pages, URLs, videos and other files that are present on a website. A sitemap also tells the crawler which files are important on a website.

    There are two types of sitemaps:

    • HTML Sitemaps
    • XML Sitemaps

    XML Sitemaps are further divided into the following types:

    • Image Sitemaps
    • Video Sitemaps
    • News Sitemaps
    • Mobile Sitemaps

    1) HTML Sitemap

    An HTML Sitemap is for the users. It helps visitors navigate across the website easily.

    The following is a screenshot of an HTML Sitemap:

    HTML Sitemap helps visitors navigate across the website easily

     

    2) XML Sitemap

    It helps bots to crawl the website in a better way. It also helps them understand which are the most important URLs in a site.

    The following is a screenshot of an XML Sitemap:

    XML Sitemap helps bots to crawl the website in a better way.

    <lastmod>, <changefreq> & <priority> are a few tags which can be included in an XML Sitemap:

    • The <lastmod> tag carries the date of the last modification of the file. The <lastmod> tag should always be in the format of YYYY-MM-DD
    • The <changefreq> tag tells the crawler how frequently the page is changing. 

    One of these values – always, hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly should be present in <changefreq> tag.

    • <priority> value can range from 0.0 to 1.0.

    The priority tag is used to signal the importance of individual pages to Google & other search engines

    In this case, 1 is the highest and 0 is the lowest

    If the <priority> value is not set for a particular page then by default the value is 0.5.

    Check out this video to know more about sitemaps.

    YouTube video

    Types of XML Sitemaps

    2.1) Image Sitemap:

    • An image sitemap is for images.
    • Having an image sitemap helps images get featured in Google Image Search
    • <image:image> and <image:loc> tags are mandatory tags for an image sitemap
    • <image:caption>, <image:title>, <image:title> and <image: geo_location > are optional tags for an image sitemap
    • The following is a screenshot of an image sitemap:

    Image Sitemap helps images get featured in Google Image Search

     

    2.2) Video Sitemap:

    • Similar to the Image Sitemap, a Video Sitemap helps videos get featured in SERPs
    • It helps bots better understand video content
    • <url>, <loc>, <video:video>, <video:thumbnail_loc>, <video:title>, <video:description>, <video:content_loc> and <video:player_loc> are mandatory tags for a video sitemap
    • Here is a screenshot of  Video Sitemap

    Video sitemap helps videos get featured in SERPs

    2.3) News Sitemap:

      • This sitemap is compulsory for news websites
      • News Sitemaps cannot contain articles which are published more than 2 days priorly
      • News Sitemaps cannot contain more than 1000 URLs
      • If there are more than 1000 URLs, break these URLs into multiple sitemaps and use a sitemap index file
    • Having a news sitemap helps articles get featured in the “News Section” of Google SERPs

    2.4) Mobile Sitemap:

    • According to John Muller, there is no need for Mobile Sitemap for a mobile-friendly website
    • A Mobile Sitemap is only required if you have a specially formatted version designed for mobile devices

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