Google Webmaster Central's latest Hangout is just another verification from Google that sitemaps are not going anywhere and are still an important tool that aids in crawling and indexing your website. A webmaster asked about why his breadcrumb was being displayed inconsistently in search results and how to fix it. John explained that "In general that means our algorithms are trying to do something different than what you are trying to do, and those are the things that we bring back feedback to the team. Usually, they are not able to manually tweak that for individual sites. He then explains to the viewer about the fact that sitemaps have no relation to Rich Snippets.
Rich snippets are an awesome way to make your content to stand out in search engine results. In the example below, Joomla.org uses a Review rating Rich Snippet for our Joomla extension listing.
Why do they do this? They want to draw your eyes to the yellow stars and assume that it will make you more likely to click it. They assumed correctly, as listings containing Rich Snippets often rank higher than ones that do not include them.
In addition to sitemaps, he also suggests that webmasters and SEOs make it easy for Google to crawl and index your website. "Make your website as awesome as it can be and from a technical point of view, make sure that we can crawl it (website) in a reasonable time so that the server has low response time and low latency and is able to respond to requests fairly quickly." - John Mueller, Google
Creating sitemaps are easy when you are using a sitemap generator like DYNO Mapper. Do yourself a favor by helping Google Index your website, especially if your website has many pages or products. Sign up for a 14-day free trial.
Create, edit, customize, and share visual sitemaps integrated with Google Analytics for easy discovery, planning, and collaboration.