Search engines such as Google and Bing usually discover information about your web site by following links from other web sites. Once a site has been discovered, a search engine then follows the links within the site to gather information about all the pages. It will come back later and make a copy of each page in its list. This is a gradual process and it can take many months to get listed because priority is usually given to revisiting other sites to find new or changed content. Unfortunately some pages aren’t discovered or get left out of the indexing process altogether.

However, when you have a sitemap for your web site it will tell a search engine where to find all the pages on your site. By helping them to identify which pages you have on your web site it helps to speed up the indexing process. They can find out everything about your web pages by reading one file, rather than wasting energy looking all around your web site. If a page has been updated it can go directly to that page and get the latest edition. If a page has been removed from your web site it can take it out of search results immediately, meaning visitors are far less likely to see a broken link.

A sitemap is also known as a XML Sitemap (sitemap.xml) because it has a structured format and is written as a text file that complies to the XML standard. This means the list of pages can also be arranged with additional information such as the relative importance of each page. So if you think that your top selling product should have a higher priority in search results than your terms and conditions you can let search engines know and they will take it into account when showing results.

By ensuring that search engines have the most up to date and comprehensive record of your pages you can improve the performance of your web site.

Sitemaps are available free of charge. Quotes can submit your file to Google and Bing upon request.