Sitemaps - are they really necessary?


Not sure if this is the right forum for this… seems like SEO is the place for a Sitemap question.

Are sitemaps really necessary? I’ve searched the web (and this site) and read a bunch, but so far I’m not convinced they’re necessary. What with the sophistication of web crawlers these days (and a nicely structured page complete with keywords, description, etc), is having a sitemap really necessary?

My site is just under 200 pages (right now).


As what I know about XML Sitemap in particular is it helps bots find/crawl the pages more efficiently and effectively. Maybe there is really help brought to this sitemap thing.

It wouldn’t be existed anyway if there is no benefits at all.

XML Sitemap is a must, but HTML Sitemap is an option and not a necessary stuff.

On the other side you may need few our pages that may be crawled by the search engines. In fact this is the option that can be introduced in the sitemap. Also, the results shown in the google with inner pages and structure of the website on the top of the search results is due to the inclusion of sitemap in the Google webmaster tool.

Sitemaps are not that much important for any websites. But if you create better site map then its easy for search engine to crawl your webpages but we cannot say “without sitemaps the search engine will not crawl our page”. All you need to do is make your website navigation more easy.

As long as Google Webmaster Tools gives the opportunity to submit a sitemap because

Submit a Sitemap to tell Google about pages on your site we might not otherwise discover.

IMO it’s better to have one.

I think that it is better to have a sitemap, but I don’t think it is essential as long as your website is clearly laid out and well linked internally.

So it seems inner pages is the real reason, i.e. the crawlers only see the outer pages? If this is so, then a sitemap is a must to get the inner pages seens… as in:
…1st outer page
…1st inner page
…1st inner-inner page
…2nd outer page
…1st inner page
…2nd inner page
…nth outer page
…nth inner page


No, not at all. Even if your inner pages are in the sitemap but there is no way to click through to them from the outerpages then Google may not index them anyway.

Sitemaps just make sure Google, Yahoo and Bing are all aware of all of your site contents. Whether or not they will want to index it is another story but at least you know that they know.

I agree with Doodled. I do think sitemaps are necessary if you are serious about getting your pages index, provided that they do have relevant content. Sitemaps make it really easy for search engines to get every link on your site instead of having to crawl one by one.

Whether Google or any other search engine decides to index those pages is another story. Just because you have a pretty sitemap.xml seating there waiting for search engines to come doesn’t mean you are going to get index faster either, or have more pages index.

I include it in every site that I own and recommend everyone to do the same all the time.

Okay, I went to, created a sitemap and transferred the sitemap.xml file to my Webmaster Google acct. My question is, should I also transfer the ROR, HTML, and URL text files, too?


In addition to asking if I should also transfer the files for ROR, HTML, and URLs to my Google Webmaster acct, I see that bing also has a place to enter a sitemap.xml file, and though I haven’t yet checked, I imagine there’s one for Yahoo and AOL. If I’ve already placed Google’s xml file in the root directory of my server, do I really have to have one from all the other search engines? Won’t they conflict with each other?

It can’t hurt to have a sitemap. It is something the engines can crawl, but it is not essential for your website.

Thanks all for your responses.

Like I said, I listed my sitemap.xml file with Google’s index, but what about the files for ROR, HTML, and URLs that sent to me along with the xml file. Should I also list them with my Google Webmaster acct?


Sitemaps are a great way help the search engines crawl your site more efficiently, but that doesn’t guarantee search rankings in any way.

Well it is not necessary at all.But submitting site maps has some advantages which everyone want to get.Sitemaps offer the opportunity to inform search engines immediately about any changes on your site.It helps if your site has dynamic contents and Has a lot of archived pages that are not linked well, or not at all.

Thanks all for your responses.

But does one’s sitemap get automatically updated when changes/additions are made to one’s site? Or, do I have to update it as I make additions to it? I’ve made additions, and then checked my sitemap the next day and it’s the same. The new links aren’t there.


It depends how you created your sitemap in the first place, but often you’ll need to re-create it after making any page changes to the site.

This is not necessary, but SEO point of view it is necessary for the frequent crawling of all pages at once.

You have to update your sitemaps every time you add a new page to your website.