Marketing 2 min read

Only Websites in one of These Three Categories Need Sitemaps

Griboedov / Shutterstock.com

Griboedov / Shutterstock.com

In a recent Google Search Console training, Daniel Waisberg cited three criteria to help site owners determine if they need sitemaps or not.

According to Google, you should only worry about sitemaps if your website meets specific criteria.

A sitemap is a file where a webmaster provides information about the pages, videos, and other data on the website. That way, the search engine can read the file to crawl the site intelligently.

Aside from telling Google which files you think are essential, a sitemap also provides valuable information about the files. These include details about how often a page is changed, including if the page has an alternate language version.

But how important is a sitemap?

That’s the question that Google’s Daniel Waisberg sought to answer in the latest episode of the Search Console Training series. Let’s break it down, shall we?

Can Google Find Your Page Without Sitemaps?

Yes, Googlebot can find your content without sitemaps. However, the site must be relatively small, and the pages should be linked appropriately.

Google’s Daniel Waisberg explained:

“You don’t need to worry about a sitemap. However, if your site meets one of the following criteria, a sitemap might help Google decide what and when to crawl your website.”

According to Waisberg, sitemaps are useful if:

  • You have an extensive website
  • The pages on your site are isolated
  • Your site is new or changes quickly

A sitemap could help Googlebot find new content as well as the isolated pages. For large websites, a sitemap can prioritize which content to crawl first.

Waisberg pointed out that having a sitemap is no guarantee that Google will crawl every URL on the sitemap. Conversely, not including a page is doesn’t mean that the search engine won’t crawl it.

Be that as it may, sitemaps can always come in handy. “In most cases, your site will benefit from having a sitemap,” Waisberg says.

Google recommends using automatically generated sitemaps over manually creating one. Tons of WordPress plugins can help with it.

Read More: Google Updates Guidelines for use of FAQ Structured Data

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