The difference between HTML and XML sitemap

Differences Between HTML and XML Sitemap_silk media web services

The main difference is that an HTML sitemap is created and displayed in a format that is designed for human reading, whilst a XML sitemap is designed to allow search engines spiders to easily obtain information from the website and index it. This means that the HTML sitemap is more designed for human interaction and navigating the website, whilst a XML sitemap is designed to allow search engines to obtain information from your website more easily.

 A HTML sitemap will typically list all of the subpages associated with the website within it and allows readers to easily navigate between pages of the website when required. This allows any visitor to gain a comprehensive understanding of your site structures. 

An XML sitemap is more specifically written for search engines like Bing, Google purpose and allows search engines to detect new pages on your website. When you add new pages or content to your site, you can configure the XML sitemaps to notify the search engines to update all of the relevant URLs on your site. The sitemap normally processes immediately, however in some case it can take some time for the Googlebot to crawl the URLs listed in a sitemap.  However, not all URLs in a sitemap will be crawled, it can depend on the size of your site, traffic, activity and so on. This process is important, as it allows search engines to include your site in the index, which allows your site to be displayed when relevant information is inputted into the search engine.

HTML Sitemap

HTML sitemap is created in plain HTML format and it contains a list of pages and posts that are available on your website. HTML sitemaps show a list of your pages and provides a general overview of the site and its content. Users can look at HTML sitemap to easily find and navigate to a page on your site that they are looking for.

If you are on a website and looking for the “Refund Policy” page and cannot find it, you would go to the sitemap and easily find it there. Click here for sample of HTML sitemap,

XML Sitemap

XML sitemap is created in Extensible Markup Language and is preferred by search engines (See how sitemap work). You can submit your website XML sitemap to Bing or Google webmaster tools to improve and control your site’s crawling rate by search engines. XML sitemap enables you to show Bing, Google that you are the original content creator as the sitemap can show the time and date when the content was published on website.

XML sitemap are specifically intended for search engine spiders. A search engine spider, also referred to as a web crawler, is an Internet bot that reads websites stored in the world wide web. The web crawler will typically store a copy of the website it visits and stores these copies within an index, which is a collection of website pages. This process is vital to many everyday people who utilise search engines, as the index is utilised when any keywords are placed into the search engines and allows any website that contains relevant information to be displayed. Most search engines typically rank the websites by how relevant the website is to the keywords written.

Click here to see a sample of XML sitemap.

Which sitemap should I have for my website?

In order to maximise the viewership and ensure that your website is use friendly, it would be recommended to have both sitemaps for your websites. The HTML sitemap will ensure that your website is easy to navigate to any specific information that users may have, whilst the XML sitemap can help bring in traffic towards your website from search engines. Having both sitemaps allows you to receive the benefits of both without negatively affecting your website from choosing only one.

Content edited by Silk Media Web Services

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