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How Yandex indexes sites
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Using the Sitemap file

What is a Sitemap file?

A Sitemap is a file with information about website pages that are available for indexing. By putting this file on your site, you can tell Yandex:

  • Which pages of your site to index.
  • How often pages change.
  • Which pages are most important for indexing.

The Sitemap file is taken into account when the robot indexes the site. However, Yandex doesn't guarantee that all URLs specified in the file will be added to the Yandex search index.

Do I need to create a Sitemap file?

The Yandex robot usually finds out about the site pages as it follows links from page to page. In most cases, this is enough for fully indexing sites. However, the robot might miss certain pages or misunderstand their importance. The most problematic pages are usually dynamic pages or pages that can only be reached by following a long chain of links. The Sitemap file helps avoid these problems.

How do I create a Sitemap?

There are many resources available in the internet for creating a Sitemap file automatically. The file must conform to one of the formats described below. Place the file in the site's root directory (http://<site address>/sitemap.xml).

You can find answers to many questions about creating a Sitemap on the official site.

Which formats of Sitemap files does Yandex support?

Yandex supports two Sitemap formats:

We recommend using XML format, because it allows you to provide additional information about site pages. For each URL, you can specify:

  • The date of the last page update (the lastmod element).

  • How often the page changes (the changefreq element).

  • The relative importance of the page (the priority element).

Yandex search doesn't support transmitting information about images or RSS/Atom feeds using the Sitemap file. To transmit information about videos, use links to XML feeds in the Sitemap file (for more information, see the Help for the Yandex.Video service).

Requirements for the Sitemap file

The file must conform to these general guidelines:

  • The file must reside in the same domain as the site that it was created for.
  • When the file is accessed, the server must return the HTTP status code 200 OK.
  • The file can contain a maximum of 50,000 URLs, and must not exceed 10 MB in uncompressed format. If your Sitemap doesn't meet these requirements, divide it into multiple files and list them in a sitemap index file.
  • The file must be UTF-8 encoded. However, you don't need to use Punycode for Cyrillic URLs, because the Yandex robot recognizes them both encoded and in the original format.
  • The file can only describe pages in the domain that it resides in.

How can I tell Yandex about my Sitemap file?

You can use the following ways to tell Yandex that your site has a Sitemap file:

There is no restriction on the number of files that you can specify for the same domain.

How do I delete a Sitemap file?

To make Yandex stop using the data from the Sitemap file when indexing the site, select the site in Sitemap files in the Yandex.Webmaster menu, and remove the file's URL from the list.

If the file was also specified in the sitemap directive in the robots.txt file, you need to delete this directive.

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