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Search Engine Webmaster Tools.
The 3 main search engines that have the largest market share have a special backend for webmasters where you can monitor and digest website details from the search engine side. Here you can also add your sitemap what results in a better crawl rate and indexing of your website besides the robots.txt file on your server root. Search Engines give a high score to sitemaps with the right markup even more so one that has been submitted on the webmaster tools backend. What are the difference between the sitemap pointed out in the robots.txt and the sitemap submitted directly to a search engine is that you need to prove ownership of the domain. There are several ways of having ownership verified a common way is uploading an HTML/XML file to the website root another one is adding a record to the DNS registrar. Search engines give a high rating to content served through the sitemap from the webmaster tools since this is confirmed content with ownership details giving credit to the content. It will not negate the rest of the SEO rules, you still need to serve good content and use good SEO practice overall. Make sure to register an account so you can make use of all features and submit your sitemap to each search engine, you can submit the same sitemap to each and all search engines.
After confirming ownership you can submit your sitemap it will take up to several days for the first crawl to happen. More time is required for statistics to be displayed such as backlinks, keyword search results and crawl statistics for each search engine. In the meantime, there is a website I like to use with some handy SEO tool called smallseotools.com use this to check your keywords, another SEO score checker among others. There is a backlink maker tool there as well, that I want to highlight it will submit your website URL to various website SEO and information sites such as alexa.com these are good backlinks. The only reason I took the plunge so to speak is that I know this website has solid tools and does not recommend or uses black hat SEO tricks that will get you a penalty.