Let’s discuss a site map (sometimes called a site index). To start, let’s see what Wikipedia has to say about it.
“A site map (or sitemap) is a web page that lists the pages on a web site site, typically organized in hierarchical fashion. This helps visitors, and search engine bots, to find pages on the site.
While some developers argue that site index is a more appropriately used term to relay page function, web visitors are used to seeing each term and generally associate both as one in the same. ”
The important topic is the one about search engine bots (robots or spiders) that crawl your website. It is very important to make it as easy as possible for the spider to search your site. The easier it is for the spider, the more likely you will improve your ranking with the search engine.
Both Google and yahoo have sitemap features associated with them. The requirements of each are a little different so if you maintain your site maps yourself, you will need to know about the differences. When you add a page to your site, you will need to update your site map and notify Google and yahoo of the change so it can schedule a spider to come check your site for the new information.
You can also go to Google and log on to add your site map to their database. Once it is added, you can log in and see when your site was last checked by the spider and if the spider encountered any problems in crawling your site. This is just another of the many functions that you need to perform in order to have a first class website.
If you use Site Build It (SBI), it does this automatically each time that you add a page or modify a page to your SBI website. To get the process started. you do have to manually add the site to both Google and yahoo, but SBI leads you through the procedure. SBI will handle the following updates or addition of with Google and yahoo.