SEO Tutorial | XML Sitemaps and HTML Sitemaps

By | August 10, 2019

Now the next SEO tip I want to share with
you concerns site maps. Now, as always, we start with the �Google
Webmaster Guidelines�. So, if you haven�t seen these before, go
to Google, search using the phrase �Google Webmaster Guidelines� and find this page
here from Google. And if we go down here. There is you three bits here. The bit of interest today is this. �Help Google find your pages�. Can you see here it says �provide a site
map file with links that point the important pages on your site�. �Also, provide a page with human readable
list of links to these pages (sometimes called a �site index� or a �site map page�)�. Now that is a little bit confusing, so first
let�s look at what�s called an HTML site map. There are two types of site map. There is an HTML site map and an XML site
map. They are totally different things and Google
recommends you have both of these. So first of all, let�s look at an HTML site
map. Now if I go to a page on my website, in fact
I will view the page first. I�ve got a site map here, so click on �About�
then �Sitemap�, and if you click on that, up comes a site map. This is just an ordinary page. There is nothing special about it. So, it�s an ordinary page on my website,
what it does, it contains links to all the other pages on my website. And Google recommends that you have one of
these, this is called an HTML sitemap. So, it�s purely an ordinary page with links
to all the other pages. Now, if I going click on where it says �Edit
Page� here. This is in WordPress of course. I�ve got a �shortcode� here called �pagelist�. So where does that come from? Well, within WordPress I go to �Plugins�,
�Installed Plugins�. So, I�ve already installed this. So, if we go down here, we�ve got a plugin
called �Sitemap�. So first of all, you go and install this within
WordPress in the normal way. As always, if you are installing plugins,
I strongly recommend that you back up everything prior to installing this plugin. You should be okay, but it�s always good
practice, before you install any new plugin, to make sure that you do a complete backup
first, just to be on the safe side. So anyway, once you have installed the sitemap
plugin, basically you just set the thing up. Now you�ve got shortcodes up here. The one that I am using is called [pagelist]. Which is the word page list, prefixed by an
opening square bracket and ending with a closing square bracket. You have got various other shortcodes here
and you can go and check out the details if you want to, but the one I recommend is just
a simple short code here. And all you have to do, is take that short
code� And then go to your website, and if you then
go to my �site map� page, this is what the users see, but what I�ve actually got
on the page, that makes that this work, is this shortcode, courtesy of that plugin, called
�Pagelist�. If this doesn�t make too much sense, and
as I say this is purely for people using WordPress, within WordPress you have plugins you can
install, which are basically extensions to the base system, and quite often with plugins,
you have these little bits of code, called shortcodes, like this one here. And the effect of that is, at the back end,
I see this, but what the user will see is, if I show you, is basically the effect of
that short code, which is links to all the other pages. And if you want a site map, an HTML site map,
on a WordPress website, that�s it, it�s done. And, the great thing is, that it is dynamically
updated, what that means is, if you create new pages, I won�t actually do it, but if
you did create a new page, that would automatically be added to the site map here. That really is the whole point of the plugin,
it automates everything. So, that�s the HTML site map. If we go back to the Google Webmaster Guidelines,
it does indicate rather confusingly, to use both types. But it uses Google -type terminology which
is not in common use. Most people would say there are HTML site
maps and XML site maps. So, that brings us onto an XML site map. What is that? Well, HTML site maps are really for the benefit
of humans, visitors coming to your site, so they can go to the site map page, and follow
the links, but more importantly so can Google. Now, an XML site map is something that is
purely for the benefit of the search engines, like Google. Humans don�t see it, it�s purely for the
search engines. And again, if you�re using WordPress, then
in WordPress you can simply install a plugin. So, in this case I�ve installed a plugin
called �Google XML Site Generator�. Now once you�ve installed this plugin, you
will find that the settings are hidden away under �Settings�, and if you go down here
you will find this item called �XML Sitemap�. And if you click on that, there are things
that you can configure. In most cases, you will find that you don�t
need to mess about with this. You can simply just install it and the system
gets on with it. Now the whole point of the XML site map, is
that when Google comes to your website, the first thing it does it looks for your XML
site map. If it hasn�t got one, it says fair enough,
and then stumbles around your website, going from link to link, trying to figure out what�s
going on, and seeing if there�s any new changes or any new webpages, since its last
visit. So, the idea of the XML site map is that it
makes life easier for Google, because Google looks at the XML site map, and that has details
of your new pages, and things like that. So, it�s not absolutely essential for SEO
to have an XML site map, but it makes life easier for Google and more to the point, Google
recommends that you have one. And as always with the Google Webmaster Guidelines,
if you are serious about your SEO, if Google says to do something you do it, if Google
says not to do something, you don�t do it. But, the great thing about WordPress is that
you simply install this XML Sitemap plugin and that�s it, and again it is dynamically
updated, so as you add new pages or what have you, or delete pages, the XML site map will
be updated accordingly. So, there you have it. There�s two types a site map. Remember, the HTML site map, which is purely
a page on your website, nothing special about it, and in WordPress we can generated it automatically,
but you could do it by hand if you want to, is just that then you would have to remember
to update the site map, every time you added new pages to your website, so is much easier
to have it done automatically. The XML site map, again, from a WordPress
point of view, is very straightforward. Very simple to install. And once it is installed, it just works. And again, going back to the guidelines, the
guidelines do say, rather confusingly, have both types of site map.

2 thoughts on “SEO Tutorial | XML Sitemaps and HTML Sitemaps

  1. واش ف خبارك ؟ Post author

    Please an idea about this problem on my console search ????

    Warning : The response time of some URLs listed in this Sitemap is long. This problem may be caused by your server or the content of the page.

    thanks in advance


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *