An XML sitemap is a file that contains a list of URLs for a website, along with additional information such as the date the page was last updated and the frequency at which the page is expected to change. The XML sitemap is used to help search engines discover and crawl the pages on a website.
XML sitemaps are typically created and submitted to search engines using a sitemap generation tool, and they use a specific syntax and format. Once the sitemap is created, it can be submitted to search engines using the Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster Tools.
The structure of an XML sitemap is as follows:
In this example, the <loc> tag contains the URL of the page, the <lastmod> tag contains the date the page was last modified, the <changefreq> tag contains the expected change frequency, and the <priority> tag contains a value between 0.0 and 1.0 indicating the importance of the page compared to other pages on the website.
XML sitemaps are optional, but they can be beneficial for websites with many pages or dynamic content, as they help search engines discover and crawl the website more efficiently. Additionally, XML sitemaps can also inform search engines about the priority of the pages and the frequency at which they are updated, which can help optimize the crawling and indexing process.
Also, See: Robots.txt