I have heard several people say that they think your sitemap controls which pages from your website are on Google. In reality, XML sitemaps have little to do with which pages Google chooses to index. It is very common for Google to index pages that are not included in an XML sitemap.
Many SEO guides suggest creating XML Sitemaps. They either say or imply that sitemaps are needed to get Google to index your site and get good rankings. XML sitemaps do have some uses for SEO, but:
- XML sitemaps won't influence Google rankings.
- Google rarely chooses to index a URL that it only finds via an XML sitemap.
In the 1990s when the web was new, under construction notices were popular. Many sites would have them on unfinished pages. Some people are tempted to use them today, but there are some good reasons that their popularity has declined.
It is tempting to freak out when you open Google Search Console and find that it lists errors. They can look like big problems with your site that need to be fixed. However, most errors found in Google Search Console can be ignored.
Google has recently given a lot of visibility to structured data. That is, special HTML markup from schema.org about various types of data. When implementing several types of structured data, Google will display rich snippets in the search results such as star ratings of reviews. Google added a structured data testing tool to search console.
Because of all this, many webmasters think they need to implement structured data for SEO. That just isn't the case. Continue reading