Many search engines will try to index your site’s pages by following links to all of the different pages. However if a search engine is unable to follow a link, then a page might not get included in the search engine’s results. To make sure all of your pages get indexed, make sure that you have a text-based sitemap that includes all of the major pages of your web site.
The Sitemaps protocol allows a webmaster to inform search engines about URLs on a website that are available for crawling. A Sitemap is an XML file that lists the URLs for a site. It allows webmasters to include additional information about each URL: when it was last updated, how often it changes, and how important it is in relation to other URLs in the site. This allows search engines to crawl the site more intelligently. Sitemaps are a URL inclusion protocol and complement robots.txt, a URL exclusion protocol.
Sitemaps are particularly beneficial on websites where, some areas of the website are not available through the browsable interface, or webmasters use rich Ajax, Silverlight, or Flash content that is not normally processed by search engines.
The webmaster can generate a Sitemap containing all accessible URLs on the site and submit it to search engines. Since Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Ask use the same protocol now, having a Sitemap would let the biggest search engines have the updated pages information.
Sitemaps supplement and do not replace the existing crawl-based mechanisms that search engines already use to discover URLs. Using this protocol does not guarantee that web pages will be included in search indexes, nor does it influence the way that pages are ranked in search results.
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