Free Sitemap Validator
Just like every good town or city needs a map to direct citizens to buildings, residences, parks, and public services, a good website has a sitemap to give search engines clear directions on how the site is structured.
What is a Sitemap?
A website’s sitemap – also known as an XML sitemap – maps out your website in a clear and organized structure so that Google, Bing, and other search engines can understand how your website is organized when crawling different pages.
It’s designed to simplify your website for search bots.
Why Your Website Needs a Sitemap?
A sitemap is about more than friendly convenience. If you have a new website, a website with lots of pages, or a website with dynamic pages, a sitemap plays an integral role in your search rankings. URLs that are included on the sitemap get crawl priority. And while you’ll never been penalized for not having an XML sitemap, it’s considered a very essential and fundamental aspect of modern SEO.
Ultimately, you can decide whether or not to create an XML sitemap for your domain. Furthermore, you can choose which URLs to include.
If you’d rather not have visitors land on a specific URL, you can leave it off. (Though if you’re serious about keeping visitors away, you’ll need to add a “noindex, follow” tag. Google still indexes URLs that aren’t included on sitemaps.)
Sitemap Tips and Best Practices
- A sitemap should not be larger than 10MB.
- A sitemap can only contain a maximum of 50,000 URLs.
- If your sitemap is larger than 10MB and/or has more than 50,000 URLs, you’ll need to create multiple sitemap files and organize them using a sitemap index file.
- It’s strongly suggested that you place your sitemap in the root directory of your website. (There are some exceptions – like security permission issues – but this is the general rule of thumb.)
- All URLs in a sitemap must be associated with the same domain. For instance, a sitemap for example.com can’t include URLs from blog.example.com. Each would need its own sitemap to be considered valid.
Let search engines know about your sitemap by submitting it directly to them, or by adding the sitemap’s location to your robots.txt file.
The Problem With Sitemap Errors
Sitemap errors can be costly – particularly if you’re unaware of the mistakes. Common sitemap errors include: empty sitemap, compression error, incorrect namespace, or HTTP error.
When errors are present, it’s harder for search bots to crawl your pages. Subsequently, this makes it more difficult to index pages. And when pages aren’t indexed properly, Google rankings slip, organic traffic diminishes, and conversions go down.
Work With SEO.co
Are you looking to scale your organic traffic with the highest quality content and links you can get?
Contact SEO.co today to learn why thousands of other businesses and entrepreneurs have trusted us with their websites over the years.