Site Map

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What Does Site Map Mean?

A site map is a model of a website’s content designed to help both users and search engines navigate the site. A site map can be a hierarchical list of pages (with links) organized by topic, an organization chart, or an XML document that provides instructions to search engine crawl bots.

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Site map may also be spelled sitemap.

Techopedia Explains Site Map

When the site map is for users, it’s just a plain HTML file with a listing of all the major pages on a site.

In the context of search engines, the site map, also known as a sitemap.xml file, helps search engine crawlers index all pages on the site. While a site map does not guarantee that every page of a site will be crawled, major search engines recommend them.

Site maps are especially important for sites that use Adobe Flash or JavaScript menus that do not include HTML links. Google introduced Google Sitemaps to help Web crawlers find dynamic pages, which were typically being missed. Bing, and all other search engines also support this protocol.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.