Google Sitemaps Explained

By: Jeff Nolan, July 13th, 2013

For the last several years I’ve had many clients ask me what a Google Sitemap is and how to use it. So I thought I’d write a couple of brief comments about the topic. Since Google Sitemaps are just one tiny aspect of good search engine optimization (“SEO”) there’s no need to be anything but brief about it.

Sitemaps & Google Webmaster Tools

Google Sitemaps is a service from Google allowing website owners to submit a file containing an index of links to the various pages that make up the website. Sitemap files are typically submitted & managed by registering an account with Google’s Webmaster Tools service.

Provide Google Crawlers with Links

A Sitemap provides Google crawlers the links it needs to more effectively index your web pages. The Sitemap is a text file containing lists of URLs formatted as.

Works with Websites of Any Size

The nice thing about this service is that it can work with websites of nearly any size. Webmasters can also include other helpful instructions for Google such as pages to avoid indexing, how frequently some pages should be crawled and even when certain pages were last updated.

Ideal for Sites with Hard-to-Find Content

Google Sitemaps are ideal if you have a website with content pages that are hard to find (that is another problem entirely) or pages that aren’t linked to your site’s main menu. While a Google Sitemap is important, it certainly is not a substitute for a good design and proper organization of your website’s content.

About the Author

Jeff Nolan is the Owner of Nolan Interactive. He's a straight-shooting, resourceful, full-stack web developer creating websites large & small applying a broad skill set & more than 15 year's experience in the industry to save his clients time & money. You can find Jeff on Google+, LinkedIn or Twitter.