If you’ve ever sat down and read an article on SEO, you’ve probably come across the terms sitemap and/or XML sitemap. But while sitemaps are a fairly common SEO recommendation, there aren’t a ton of deep looks at how XML sitemaps specifically work with WordPress. To fix that, we’re going to take a deep dive into WordPress sitemaps. Here’s everything that you’ll learn in this post: What Is An XML Sitemap? An XML sitemap is basically just a list of URLs that you want to be publicly available. Like robots.txt, it helps search engines like Google and others better crawl your website by giving them a “map” of all your content. That’s it! Beyond a raw list of URLs, you can also include other helpful “metadata” in your sitemap to further aid search engines in their attempts to index your site. These options are outlined in the Sitemaps protocol and let you specify things like: When a page was last modified What priority you’d like search engines to give to the page (though search engines won’t necessarily follow this) How often the page will change Beyond those core pieces of metadata, it’s also possible to
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