A site map (or sitemap) is a web page that lists the pages on a web site site, typically organized in hierarchical fashion. This helps visitors, and search engine robots, to find pages on the site. An example is the one on EFF’s (Electronic Frontier Foundation’s) page.
Site maps do have limitations. Most search engines will only follow a finite number of links from a page, so if a site is very large, additional strategies besides the site map may be required that search engines, and visitors, can access all content on the site.
While some developers argue that site index is a more appropriately used term to relay page function, web visitors are used to seeing each term and generally associate both as one in the same.
Google maintains a feature called Google Sitemaps that allows web developers to publish lists of links from across their sites. The basic premise is that some sites have a large number of pages that are only available through the use of forms and user entries. The sitemap files can then be used to indicate to a web crawler how such pages can be found.
References and links
- Kent, Peter (2004). Search Engine Optimization For Dummies, Wiley Publishing Inc. ISBN 0-7645-6758-6.
- Google Sitemaps
- Tips about Sitemaps Build a sitemap at a mouse click with an open-source sitemap generator (Xml, text or Html).
- JSiteMap A Java open source site map generator