The Proof That XML Sitemaps Can Be Used As A Ranking Factor. There is proof that XML sitemaps do not affect search engine rankings. Google’s Gary Illyes responded positively when asked whether there isn’t any issue or ranking disadvantage linked with not having an XML sitemap.
How do XML sitemaps work?
A website’s key pages are listed in an XML sitemap file so that Google can easily identify and index them all. It also aids in search engines comprehending the structure of your website.
How does an XML sitemap look?
An XML sitemap provides a standardized method of listing articles and pages, allowing search engines to find them. Here’s an example of a sitemap with a single URL:
- ?XML encoding=”UTF-8″ version=”1.0″>
- http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9″ urlset xmlns=”http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9″>
- It is divided into two parts:
An XML version declaration: used by search engine crawlers to detect the type of file being read. The URL is specified to inform search engines about the protocol. The URL displays the page’s URL.
Lastmod: a date format indicating when the page was most last edited. To be legitimate, every sitemap must adhere to this criterion. Other characteristics such as priority> and changefreq> are available, but they do not influence on the
Do You Require a Sitemap in XML?
- The XML sitemap protocol was originally introduced by search engines in 2005, and Image XML sitemaps quickly followed.
- At the time, XML sitemaps were a terrific method for brand-new sites to be found and crawled more effectively by the search engines, as well as huge sites with a lot of pages, broken links, or crawl difficulties.
- They even provided us with a variety of additional information to provide, such as the last changed date, the frequency of changes, the priority, etc.
- However, the majority of SEO experts set the change frequency to daily and the priority of each page to “one.” Because SEO experts were so terrible at changing the latest updated date, Google has recently begun to ignore the majority of these parameters.
So how significant are XML sitemaps nowadays, despite being a simple item to add in audits and checklists?
- It varies, like with so many other SEO-related issues.
- Contrary to what many people think, XML sitemaps do not affect SEO ranking.No one would require an XML sitemap for pages or images in an ideal world.
- XML sitemaps were developed as a type of band-aid to remedy a wide range of other SEO problems typical of big sites.
- However, if you’re performing SEO properly:
- Your website is simple to crawl and built such that Google can find every internal connection on it.
- Additionally, you have enough outside links pointing to your website to keep the crawler coming back.
Does Google need us to submit an image sitemap?
- The same applies to visuals. You don’t need an image sitemap if your photos are coded in a way that is crawler-friendly and the pages they are on are simple to find and crawl.
- We are aware that most websites don’t work like that.
- Many photos have slow loading techniques that are invisible to search engines. One of the simplest improvements, as Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) and other performance metrics acquire relevance, is to offload the pictures.
- Image sitemaps are really helpful in this situation for having your photographs indexed and featured in search results.
- Remember that you may still utilize DAMs and CDNs even if your photographs are hosted through one of these services.
Cautionary Notes Regarding the XML Sitemap
- XML sitemaps have the drawback of being merely another tool. Like any tool, the effectiveness of a tool depends on how we utilize it. Consider a knife, for instance. It may be used to butter bread or trim the grilled cheese’s crust. We may even use it to stab ourselves. Sadly, a lot of SEO experts cut themselves with their XML sitemaps.
- The majority of the customer websites I evaluate contain information on their actual website that is inconsistent with their XML sitemap.
- Using distinct hreflang tags in the code and sitemap is one typical approach. Another is when the canonical versions of the links in the sitemap and the links in the main navigation are different.
- This search might be challenging.
Sitemaps Drive Me Nuts
Given everything mentioned above, XML sitemaps continue to rank among my worst SEO pet peeves. Every audit I’ve seen so far has seemed to begin with XML sitemaps.
Would their ranking improve if they implemented a sitemap?
No, since an XML sitemap is not a ranking indication, as we all know.