Future of sitemaps: the vision of Google Search Central

It would be ideal if a search engine would crawl all the pages of your website automatically, right? In fact, Google already does it with smaller sites, leaving this responsibility to the sitemap. However, there are those who doubt its effectiveness. We know that Google is constantly working on its improvement, would you like to know what the future of sitemaps?

We know enough about the past of site maps, however, we do not know where they are going. Gary Illyes, John Mueller and Lizzi Sassman bring us a new video installment that illustrates what is coming for the sitemap. If you are interested in knowing them, we present them to you.

What does Google Search Central say about the future of the sitemap?

In the first instance, Google and its specialists make a historical review of the birth of site maps. After pointing out the most common errors and highlighting the advantages they offer, the team guides the conversation towards the future of sitemaps and several important changes. Next, we describe some of the aspects that the team collects.

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The recognition of changes by search engines

One part of the conversation turns to the importance of recognizing significant and superficial variations in a web. Against which, Mueller indicates how the frequency and size of these is something that a search engine randomly recognizes.

Not only what is visible adds value

In some cases, structured data is added that is imperceptible to users. However, behind the scenes, commands are provided that could structure and change the way information is displayed in different snippets. This is the initial fee future of sitemaps

The hierarchy

Directory pages are listed in a logical hierarchical order. There, the most relevant pages appear at the top and the least relevant ones are placed closer to the bottom.

However, it is not the order, but the size of the site that matters. If your website is small, Google will be able to index it easily. The opposite happens with sitemap on a large website.

The future of the sitemap and changes that are taking place

We have news that will surely blow your mind. Technically, you don’t need the sitemap. That’s right, your site can go live without one and you’ll likely still see some incoming traffic.

Despite this, this same rule does not apply in the case of users. Using a structure allows them to navigate more easily. For this, the future of sitemaps is still a matter of investigation.

Will the XML format change or not?

Google Search Central (GSC) states that what works should be left alone. The effectiveness of the XML format remains high when it comes to informing search engines or anyone interested in a website.

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How will changes to a sitemap now be reported?

For Mueller, Bing’s initiative to submit individual pages for indexing is perhaps a market trend. Something that Google is also capable of executing. However, in the interview she confesses: “I still find that the process of tracking websites is useful to understand them a little better.”

Switch from XML to JSON

Javascript Object Notation or JSON continues to make its way as an efficient data exchange format. However, it is dismissed by the panel of experts when considering the reliability of the XML format to transmit the pages in a sitemap.

Significant changes for indexing in the future of the sitemap

There is a lot of effort to develop digital content. Taking the time to make sure that wonderful content gets crawled and indexed will really make it worthwhile. Currently, Google offers its tools to ensure that more quality content is reached by its robots.txt.

Either way, improved crawling efficiency is good for the web, not just search engines. Since it leads to lower server loads and lower energy costs.

Finally, the GSC team recognizes that in the future of the sitemap there are many other factors that influence these, including the crawl budget. Certainly, there are several challenges including the spam and the increased use of labels nofollow. But above all, the best solution will always be within reach. By building your site from well-designed maps, you’ll really be establishing a website that’s ready for whatever comes next.

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