Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

You Probably Don’t Need an XML Sitemap

XML Site MapsWe often get asked by our clients if they need an XML Sitemap. Google has promoted these, but a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. An XML sitemap is a way to tell the search engines what pages you have on your site and allow the search engines to easily find, spider, and index your pages.

For a large eCommerce site with hundreds of products and multiple ways to get to them, an XML sitemap can help the search engines a lot. When I say “multiple ways to get to” a product, I’m referring to the pull down navigation many eCommerce sites use. You might search this way: (widget | style = waterproof | color = blue, size = large) and someone else might search this way: (widget, size = large, color = blue | style = waterproof). Although both are looking for the same thing and end up on the same page, the URLs of the pages will be different.

If that’s the kind of web site you have, you’ll benefit from having an XML sitemap.

But if you’re like most of our clients (a local service business) and if you’ve set up search engine friendly navigation for your site, then there’s no need at all for an XML sitemap.

[Update 2017] I’ve changed my mind about this.  You can read why here.

Leave a Reply