Tackling the sitemap questions i'm looking at with a dead stare -_-

Hi everyone :smile:

haha okay sorry for the silly title :stuck_out_tongue: but i have some questions that i have been looking around the web for and i can’t seem to fine answers to.

I’m listing all the topics that i’m going to talk about so that it’s a bit more clear for everyone to understand what i want to know.

Table of content:

  1. Submitting sitemap to google and having one on your site itself
  2. Flat site architecture with on site sitemap
  3. Link juice
  4. Multiple or single large Sitemap

1. Submitting sitemap to google and having one on your site itself
From my understanding and what i have been reading online there is an advantage having a sitemap on your site itself and also submitting one to Google for them to understand more in detail your sites structuring and also allowing Google to see some pages that they may have missed in there crawl.

I’m noting that it’s good practice to have the on site sitemap for both users and Google and because of that i have my second question…but lets first get to my first one.

Do you need a on site sitemap for Google to crawl your site better (i say better because i know it’s not the only way for them to crawl the site) or is it just best practice because both user and Google can use it, does Google even need it?

2. Flat site architecture with on site sitemap
The on site sitemap which i am talking about is a HTML based one for it to be more presentable to the user.

My website is a large site that will have a lot of pages (think along the lines of yelp size) and i want to index as much of the businesses as possible and to be more friendly to Google and create a flat site architecture.

My question is in regards to how my site should be structured and how the sitemap will help to get all the link juice to the businesses pages (the pages furthest away from domain)

I want to know is this (below) a good layout for the site,

  • Home
  • = account <— first level (meaning one click away)
  • = contact us
  • = sitemap <— all the countries
  • == submap <----- links to specific categories
  • === category <----- category that lists all the businesses with rel next/prev for google
  • ==== business page <---- the business pages that need to be indexed

URL for above:

domain.com
/account
/contact-us
/sitemap
/country
/country/category
/country/business

so from landing page it’s 4 click to business page, which i understand is good. something else to note is that the website is going to be using the site search for navigating and there is no categories menu, so user will only be able to see all the categories once they searched and also if they are in the sitemap.

3. Link juice
From my understanding link juice is split up from domain to the other pages, example: the domain.com get’s 10 then there is two links on the page and each of them get 5 each because it gets split.

Going with the design for my site above, if i make the /country and /country/category pages noIndex but still allow it to follow the links on page will that cause the (let say juice of 5) that would have been on the country page go on to the next page? meaning will the business page inherit the full juice 5 from it’s parent pages because they are not being indexed?

4. Multiple or single large Sitemap
This is for submitting to Google, is it better to user smaller but multiple XML sitemaps is just one bigger one?

The end:slight_smile:
Thank you everyone for reading this long but hopefully good post, i hope that others in the future will be able to use this and the answers would help as many people as possible. Can’t wait to hear from you guys

1 Like

You only need multiple sitemaps if one is too big. Max filesize 10MB or 50,000 URL’s
Source: http://www.sitemaps.org/faq.html#faq_sitemap_size

It’s best if there are links to every page, but then that’s what your sitemaps do, create links to everything for the crawlers.

OK, I’m not going to attempt to answer all of these points, certainly not all in one go, but I’ll make a start.

[quote=“generalProf, post:1, topic:197058”]
Do you need a on site sitemap for Google to crawl your site better (i say better because i know it’s not the only way for them to crawl the site) or is it just best practice because both user and Google can use it, does Google even need it?
[/quote]Google has quite clear and helpful guidelines about the circumstances in which it would be beneficial for you to submit a sitemap. https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/156184?hl=en

[quote=“generalProf, post:1, topic:197058”]
The on site sitemap which i am talking about is a HTML based one for it to be more presentable to the user.
[/quote]An HTML sitemap is ideal for helping human visitors, but for search engines, you should provide an xml sitemap. (There are various sites which will help you generate one, if required.)

[quote=“generalProf, post:1, topic:197058”]
My question is in regards to how my site should be structured and how the sitemap will help to get all the link juice to the businesses pages (the pages furthest away from domain)
[/quote]It’s difficult to advise on structure without seeing the actual site and content, but generally, the simpler (and easier to navigate) the better for both visitors and bots.

If you’re concerned about link juice reaching your inner pages, the best thing to do is to try to ensure that incoming links point directly to the most relevant page/content, rather than simply landing all users on your home page.

1 Like

Thank you @SamA74 for the info on sitemap size, that gives me a good indication of when to start using multiple maps.

Thank you for the tips @TechnoBear

Hopefully there are some world class experts who can help with the other questions as well :smile:

I found this amazing article that talks about sitemap and site map (HTML based one i’m talking about) The article. It explains some of the questions i had in regards to the HTML site map and how bots use it, i must say that is makes sense what they are talking about. Hope it helps someone in the future.

I am still trying to figure out how the others work, any and all help is appropriated :wink:

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