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What is an XML sitemap? To put it in simple words, an XML sitemap is a list of URLs of your website that are in the form of an XML file. In addition to this, an XML Sitemap also allows you to show other SEO-specific information regarding each URL. This additional information may include (but is not limited to) the date that the URL was last updated, how often the URL is changed, and how important the URL is in relation to the rest of your website.
The XML format guarantees that the information provided can easily be validated on several different types of systems, computers, and applications. Thus, search engines like google and yahoo will have no difficulty in comprehending your sitemap files. Other formats might not be as widely accepted or understood by search engines, so this is the safest bet for your website.
Note: These XML Sitemaps have two limitations that were imposed by Google. First, you cannot put more than fifty thousand URLs in an XML sitemap. Second, the XML sitemap should not be larger than 10Mbs.
What this tool is:
This tool creates your XML sitemap for you so that you don’t have to trouble yourself with making the code if you don’t know how to or if you just don’t have the time. It is a very convenient tool that will improve your SEO simply because search engines need to know the important pages on your website. It will also give the search engines your updated information whenever you upload a new sitemap.
How this tool works:
To create an XML Sitemap, you need to first type in your URL in the first text box. Then, you need to provide information for the next four boxes. Here is a description for each:
Last modified date: This information helps the search engines' crawlers avoid recrawling the documents that have not been modified. If you are making this sitemap but haven't changed anything in your website recently, you can just choose not to include this.
Page changing frequency: This value is the quantitative measure of how often the URL is updated on average.
Page priority: This is the quantitative measure of the priority of a particular page over the other pages on your website. The range of this number specified by Google is 0.0-1.0 where 0 identifies the pages having the lowest priorities and 1.0 having the highest priorities. The default priority of the page is always set to 0.5.
Finally, once you have submitted this information, download the file given to you and put it on the root directory of your website (where the index file is, generally your homepage).