As indicated by the name, sitemaps are a map of your site, showing the structure of the entire website (including sections, links etc) on a single page. A page like this can make navigating your site easier for visitors (think of them like tourists in a foreign city), but it can also play an important role in how search engines interact with your program pages and the prominence of your online presence.
Sitemaps and Search Engines Sitemaps communicate with search engines, telling them what parts of your website to include and exclude from indexing. Basically, it tells search engine crawlers where you want them to crawl. To best accomplish this, schools will often have two sitemaps: one for humans and one for spiders. This ensures that both serve their purpose in the best way possible. This isn't to say that you necessarily need two sitemaps, but since Google does not penalize you for doubling up, it's not a bad idea to go the extra mile.
There, are, however, some different options, specifically HTML and XML sitemaps. An HTML sitemap is the old school sitemap for users to find all the pages of your web on one single page. In many cases, university websites may require many HTML sitemaps. XML (Extensible Markup Language) sitemaps are an update on this older method, allowing web developers to submit a sitemap directly. They are also more precise, as they do not allow errors.
Sitemaps and Page Depth "Depth" in this case, refers to the amount of clicks it takes to get to a page from your home page. A page depth of 3, for example, means that moving from the home page to a specific page requires 3 clicks. Crawlers, on occasion, will fail to crawl pages with high page depth or heavily Rich Internet Application (RIA) elements. Therefore, if your site's page depth is more than 3 or 4, a sitemap is needed to get all those pages crawled.
Submitting Your Sitemap with Google An easy way to submit XML sitemaps is to use Google Sites. Before it will generate a sitemap, however, you must verify your site. To do so, you need to verify your site with Google Webmaster Tools. Learn more at http://www.6wseo.com