What is een sitemap?

Every website has a sitemap. This consists of a list of all pages of the website. This is usually not intended for the eyes of the site visitor. Although some websites do choose to make this visible to the visitor. However, this has little added value for them. The sitemap is particularly important for website builders and search engines to index the website. With the help of the sitemap, the site is 'read' by, for instance, crawlers and the structure and navigation of the website are discovered. But what exactly is a sitemap and how can it possibly affect the quality of your site in the eyes of a search engine? 

Definition sitemap 

It is very important to take the structure into account when designing a website. This is necessary not only to make it easier for the visitor to find his way around, but also to make the website clearer for search engines. Almost all websites contain a structure of several main pages and subpages. You can compare the whole with a tree. A tree has a core, a few sturdy main branches and they are followed by thinner branches. It works the same way with a website. 

With the help of a sitemap it is easier to oversee the basis of the site. This way, a web designer is better able to apply structure and thus better navigate the user to find the right information. In most cases it is not necessary to make the sitemap visible to the visitor. If the structure on the site is not too difficult, they will easily be able to find their way around the site with the help of the right tools. 

The sitemap also plays a very important role for search engines. They use the sitemap to index the pages. In this process, value is also assigned to the various pages. This value is of importance to the ultimate position within the search results. 

Sitemaps protocol 

It is remarkable that Google has started with a so-called sitemaps protocol. Depending on the algorithm of the moment, they use the sitemap to discover extra information about the website. This also determines to what extent the website is qualitatively found in order to end up higher in the results. 

In many cases it is very important for website builders to build a so-called XML sitemap file. This is necessary so that Google can also index pages that cannot be found directly. These are, for example, pages that can only be accessed after logging in or filling in a registration form. In this way, the entire website is given value and not just the pages that are visible to all visitors. 



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