Have you ever wanted to find a page on a website, but didn’t want to click through a lot of links to find it? It’s ok, because you are not alone. Website visitors who are looking for something specific need to find it fast, or else they will give up and search elsewhere. What if there was a “Table of Contents” that a user could view to find what they are looking for?
That’s where a site map comes in to play. A site map is a page on a website that shows the site’s entire linking structure. For example, if a user needs to find a detailed page about a specific room, they could find the link on the site map.
Although a site map is beneficial to the user, it is also invaluable to a search engine. When a search engine spider sees every page on a web site, it can index it a lot easier.
Google has incorporated a site map of their own in XML form. The Google site map is a very valuable tool to have when it comes to search engine optimization in Google. Although other search engines haven’t picked up on Google’s concept yet, it’s still important to have a general site map for the rest of the world as well. Google has stated that having their site map and a general site map does not constitute duplicate content – it just helps Google’s spiders see what they need in a more efficient manner.