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Does your website need a sitemap? Google shares new information

March 29, 2020 0 comments

You might already be familiar with sitemaps, the importance of a sitemap for a website, and the role of a sitemap in facilitating search engine indexing and ranking in the SERPs.

However, in case you have no idea about sitemaps, Google has shared some new information about sitemaps and, more specifically, which websites need to focus on having a sitemap. 

This information was shared in the latest Google Search Console training video. 

Here are a few important points from the video that you should know about sitemaps:

Can Google find all the web pages without a sitemap?

What happens if your website does not have a sitemap? Will Google be able to find all the web pages on your website without a sitemap?

Usually, it should not be a problem, according to Google.

Do you need a sitemap?

Google’s Daniel Waisberg told in the video that “you do not [generally] need to worry about a sitemap.”

Daniel, however, further stated that if your website meets one of the following criteria, “a sitemap might help Google decide what and when to crawl your website.”

According to Daniel Waisberg, a sitemap is particularly helpful if:

  • Your website is very large, with lots of pages.
  • The pages on your website are isolated (not interlinked properly).
  • If you have a website that updates very quickly with new pages and information, e.g., a news website.

A sitemap is not a guarantee

Daniel was also quick to remind everyone that a sitemap, while helpful, does not guarantee that Google will always crawl all the web pages on your website that are included in the sitemap.

What are the disadvantages of having a sitemap when you don’t need it?

There is no harm in having a sitemap — even if you do not need it.

So if you are not sure whether you should have a sitemap for your website or not, it is better to have one.

As Daniel said, “In most cases, your website will benefit from having a sitemap.”

Automatically generated sitemaps

Daniel also recommended automatically generated sitemaps by plugins, instead of sitemaps that some SEOs create manually. 

For more information about sitemaps and what Google shared in the Search Console Training video, watch the full video here.