Is it still important to offer a site map to users?
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Is it still important to offer a site map to users?

Today’s question comes all
the way from Colorado. The questioner asks: In
addition to using webmaster tools to submit an XML site map
to Google, how important is it to also have a site
map for users? It seems like nobody
does this anymore. Is it still important
in Web 2.0? Well that depends. Do you want good search
engine rankings in Web 2.0? Cause I think you do. Site maps are not just good for
users, site maps, even on the page, even HTML site maps can
also be a fantastic way to distribute page rank
throughout your site. One of the best ways to test
out how crawlable your site is is to click around within
your site and see if you can reach every page. Well if you’ve got an HTML
site map, you’re pretty much guaranteed that you’re
able to get to every page. There’s different
ways to do them. If you have a ton of pages,
maybe you want to break your site map down and maybe have
it chronologically or alphabetically so you don’t
have to have thousands of links all on one page. But a site map can be
really useful for users. In many cases you can find out,
what are the top pages that I care about, or even if you
don’t want to highlight every single page you can highlight
the top-level categories on your site. So those are some of the
factors to think about. I think it’s always useful
to have an HTML site map. On my blog for example, I have
a sidebar with all the posts from each month going back
all the way to like 2005 or whenever I started my blog. And that’s a very simple way
that users can go back in time, and Googlebot can go back
and find all of these individual posts as well. So I absolutely do recommend
having not only an XML site map that you submit to Google
webmaster console, but also a site map for users. It’s very handy, it’s good
usability, and it can be great for your search results.


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