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How does the sitemap.xml file benefit me and the search engines?

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It allows us to include additional information about each URL or page on your website, such as when the page was last updated, how often the page changes, and how important the page is in relation to other pages on your website. This allows search engines to crawl the site more intelligently - only crawling pages that need to be refreshed or added in their database. This minimizes the traffic on their servers and yours. Less traffic means using less data bandwidth, lowering costs for both you and them. 

Search engine sitemaps supplement the existing search engine crawlers that search engines use to discover new web pages. By implementing the xml sitemap in conjunction with the robots.txt file, we help the search engines' spiders find more of your pages and minimize the resources used to index your pages.