Sitemap contain page elements of the particular site.
A site map is a visual or textually organized model of a Web site's content that allows the users to navigate through the site to find the information they are looking for.
A site map is a kind of interactive table of contents, in which each listed item links directly to its counterpart sections of the Web site. Site maps perform the same service that the layout maps in large shopping malls perform.
Most search engines will only follow a finite number of links from a page, so if a site is very large, the site map may be required so that search engines and visitors can access all content on the site.
There are at least three major types of sitemaps:
- Full categorical, and
- Restricted categorical.
An indexed site map appears as an alphabetical listing or directory. A full categorical map displays all links classified into categories; while a restricted categorical sitemap displays all links listed in a chosen category at a time.
The most widely used format is the full categorical sitemap and is the most preferred by users since it is easier to search for topics within the site and it allows easier comparison between and among categories.
Sources of compilation :
What is a Sitemap file and why should I have one?
You can use a sitemap file to tell us about all the pages on your site, and optionally, to provide information about those pages, such as which are most important and how often they change. Sitemaps are particularly helpful if your site has dynamic content, pages that aren't easily discovered by following links, or if your site is new and has few links to it.
Sitemaps helps speed up the discovery of your pages, which is an important first step in crawling and indexing your pages, but there are many other factors that influence the crawling/indexing processes. Sitemaps lets you tell us information about your pages (which ones you think are most important, how often the pages change), so you can have a voice in these subsequent steps. Other factors include:
- How many sites link to you
- Whether your content is unique and relevant
- Our ability to crawl the pages successfully
- Everything outlined in our webmaster guidelines.
A sitemap provides an additional view into your site (just as your home page and HTML site map do), but sitemaps do not replace our normal methods of crawling the web. Google still searches and indexes your sites in the normal way, whether or not you use this program, and sites are never penalized for using this service. We can't make any predictions or guarantees about when or if your URLs will be crawled or added to our index but over time, as we refine our processes and better understand webmasters' needs, we expect both coverage and time-to-index to improve.
Once you have created your Sitemap, you can add it to your Google Sitemaps account and update it as your site changes.