There are many different benefits to making sure that search engines see your images and that they are indexed. Images can sometimes be very hard for a search engine spider to notice, especially when it is within certain languages such as Flash. So to help them out, we are able to create Sitemaps, which are basically just a list of all of our images and videos, so that search engines have no problems finding them. Here are just a few reasons why you should be implementing a sitemap in your website.
Most of us have spent a lot of time and effort trying to rank highly with search engines. Well, good news is that having a sitemap could optimize your site even further to help you up a bit more. Instead of just posting images all over the place, include them in your sitemap so they become indexed and relevant to your rankings. You should also have proper descriptions for your images because search engines still have no way of reviewing what it is about, so they must rely on your descriptions.
Not only do sitemaps help you SEO efforts and increase the rank of your website, but your images will be separately indexed as well. If you start searching in Google, you will find an images section where it will only bring up images. Your pictures will be indexed in this area, making it possible for another stream of traffic to come to your site. You will be able to reach more people, and your pictures will attract an audience. I’m not saying that images can be a better source of traffic compared to other SEO tactics, but it is worth a try and even if it doesn’t bring traffic, it still helps the SEO on your overall website.
Although we would love to think that search engines are able to see everything, at anytime, everywhere… they don’t. They use spider bots to go through all of the websites to check for new content and to index any new information. Unfortunately, these bots can sometimes run into situations where they are unable to proceed to the rest of the site, or they are unable to read what is around them. This is where bad optimization tactics end up hurting the website. If they can’t see your whole site, how do you expect them to be able to keep track of each detail of the site?
Sitemaps reduce this risk by a ton because it gives a place that spiders can go to get all of the information that they need to ensure they index everything. If for some reason a page didn’t have any navigation to it and the images were not being indexed, the sitemap would still point the spider in the right direction, giving that page a fighting chance at being indexed and ranked highly.
Keeping in contact with Google can be a very beneficial thing to do. You are able to submit your sitemaps directly to them so they are aware of new changes and can throw some spiders out to your site as soon as possible. Not only are you able to send out your sitemaps, but you can use Google Webmaster Tools to let them know about any major changes that might be happening to the website. It is a very helpful thing to do if you are expecting a large drop in traffic due to the changes. Rank drops are some of the hardest parts about being a part of the online community, so if you have an opportunity to save your rank, you should take it.
There are plenty of other reasons why having sitemaps on your website is important, but these few reasons should give you the general idea. If you are unsure of how exactly to implement a sitemap, there are plenty of guides out there that can give you a step by step process. You can also go directly to Google and find their explanation. They will give you examples and also show you how to properly use them to ensure their success.
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