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Importance of a SiteMap

     
6:37 am on Sep 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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One question that is bothering me for quite some time now.

Site Maps are made for Search Engines or Users?

Because if it is for search engines then we already have google site maps using XML format. And if it is made for users then I am not sure how many visitors actually visit Site Map.

Is it worth spending time to make a good Site Map?

Regards,
Anirudh

11:26 am on Sept 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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If your site is small, and has good, logical internal navigation, then you probably don't need an HTML site map, though it never does any harm.

Check your navigation with xenu, and avoid orphans, and all should be well.

A larger site - or one where the navigation (for whatever reason) is less than logical - will benefit from a sitemap, which always gives your visitors an HTML link to wherever they might wish to go, avoiding the JS orphan trap, and is a useful discipline on your navigation setup :)

2:00 pm on Sept 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I agree with Quadrille its never a bad idea to have a sitemap and you can always point users to your sitemap if they encounter a 404 for some odd reason.
7:54 am on Sept 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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HTML sitemaps were used 50/50 for search engine indexing and visitor (3-4 years ago). Nowadays I'd say 30/70 (70 being visitors) as search engines have become better at indexing content and use xml sitemaps.

HTML sitemaps are especially useful if your site is over 30 pages big and you don't have a search option.

4:02 am on Sept 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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thanks for replies :)
10:22 am on Sept 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I think Sitemaps are mainly made for search engines.. on previous projects of mine I had sitemaps, and almost nobody who was on the websites ever visited it.

It was a rather useless and pointless page to maintain - But of course, I also had a few thousand articles, so it was a bit messy - that might be the answer to why it never kicked off on any of my projects. It might be different in other areas or on other websites.

If you have a "search" option, I don't really think that people are going to look at a sitemap to find what they're looking for.

"hi, google,
I like, have this problem with sitemaps, I have like 20 sitemaps for you, because you said max 100 links on each page in your guidelines, please accept them as an offering to you, oh great benevolent god of visitors and profitmargins"

Sincerely and have fun,

P.s I have also requested a sitemap of googles total index of webpages. What they do unto me, I do unto them.

3:09 pm on Sept 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Nowadays I'd say 30/70 (70 being visitors) as search engines have become better at indexing content and use xml sitemaps.

useful way to look at it - but I'd guess it to be 20/30/50 in terms of value ... SEs/visitors/self. Where self is the benefit achieved by the act of creating the sitemap - what you learn about your own site, what you fix as a result, and what you plan better for the future.

4:10 pm on Sept 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Having a site map links all those buried pages to a upper level. This should help getting them indexed.