An XML sitemap is a map to your site's content. It is a file that contains a list of URLs used by search engines to quickly find all of your important pages along with how frequently they are updated, how often to check back for changes and the relative importance of a page compared to other URLs. An XML file stores metadata in a way that makes it easy to be understood by computers. Google says that sites should have a sitemap, especially if they are very large, have poor internal linking, are new, or have rich media content. While you can store all of your content in a single XML file (so long as it is less than 50,000 urls and smaller than 10MB in size), it is wise to create a sitemap for different page types. By breaking out the content over multiple sitemaps, when analyzing the indexation in Google Search Console you can tell how each page type is performing on a more granular level. In order to simplify the management of multiple sitemaps, best practice is to create a sitemap index which references all of the individual sitemaps inside. A great resource to learn more is at sitemaps.org.
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