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Sitemap files

What is a Sitemap file?

Sitemap file is a file located on the site and containing additional information about the site pages subject to indexing. Using Sitemap file, you can tell Yandex which pages of your site should be indexed, how often the pages are updated, and which are the most important to index.

Sitemap files are taken into account when traversing the site. However, Yandex cannot promise that all the URLs from your Sitemap file will be added to Yandex search index.

What Sitemap file formats does Yandex support?

Yandex supports two Sitemap file formats:

  • XML;

  • text file.

The format descriptions are given at the http://sitemaps.org/ web-site. The text file format is described in the “Text file” paragraph of the “Other Sitemap formats” section.

XML format is preferable, because it allows inclusion of additional information about the pages of the site. For each URL, you can specify:

  • the last modification date of a page (lastmod);

  • the frequency of page changes (changefreq);

  • the relative importance of the page (priority).

Sitemap files are taken into account when traversing the site. However, Yandex cannot promise that all the URLs from your Sitemap file will be added to Yandex search index.

How do I tell Yandex about the Sitemap file?

You can tell Yandex about your site having a Sitemap file using one of two methods:

  • by adding the URL of the Sitemap file into the “Sitemap files” section of Yandex.Webmaster service;

  • by adding Sitemap directive into the robots.txt file of your web-site.

Yandex supports cross-posting of Sitemap files.

How do I delete a Sitemap file?

To make Yandex stop using your Sitemap file when indexing your web-site, go to “Sitemap files” section of Yandex.Webmaster service for the site in question and delete the URL of the Sitemap file from the list.

Attention! For complete deletion you may need to delete the Sitemap directive from the robots.txt file of your web-site.

Do I have to create a Sitemap file?

Usually Yandex robot learns about the pages of the site by following links that lead from one page into another. In most cases, this is enough for full indexing of the sites. However, if your site contains many dynamic pages or there are pages that can be reached only by following a lot of links, one after another, Yandex robot may be unable to find some of the site pages or make a mistake when estimating their importance. Sitemap file enables you to resolve these problems.

How do I create a Sitemap file?

The file must be in one of the formats listed below, it should then be placed on the website server, for example, at http://<website address>/sitemap.xml. There are many online resources available that will help you to create a sitemap file automatically.

You will find answers to many of your questions related to sitemap file creation at the official site.

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