Google ‘Design & Content Guidelines’: Part 2

In the second part of our series on Google’s ‘Design & Content Guidelines,’ we will be explaining the importance of a sitemap.

Google Design and Content Guideline #2: “Offer a sitemap to your users with links that point to the important parts of your site. If the sitemap is larger than 100 or so links, you may want to break the sitemap into separate pages.”

A sitemap lists the pages of a website in a hierarchical fashion and is an orderly way of presenting the entire website content to your users and search engine bots.

There are two kinds of site maps; a html sitemap and XML sitemap.  A html sitemap is one that visitors might use to find information on your website.  The second type of sitemap is created in XML and resides in the root directory of your website.  Its purpose is to help search engine bots find your web pages.

It’s useful to offer a sitemap with links to your most important web pages for both humans and bots.  Doing so will lead to improved site navigation and will greatly enhance the chance that all of your pages will be indexed.  Sitemaps also help websites with many pages, dynamic content, and poorly linked pages to be found by search engines.
Breaking down a html sitemap into 100 links or less increases its accessibility, making it easier for users to find content on your website.   XML sitemaps – on the other hand – can support thousands of links before they need to be split into 2 files:  Google Sitemaps allows up to 50, 000 URLs per XML file.

Happy Indexing!

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