More threads by djbaxter


Jun 28, 2012
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Google Says HTML Sitemaps Not Useful For SEO Purposes
by Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Roundtable
October 2, 2019

Google's John Mueller posted on Reddit that he agrees, that HTML sitemaps are not worthwhile for SEO purposes. He said "I agree. When it comes to SEO ... for small sites, your site should be crawlable anyway (and if you're using a common CMS, it'll almost always be fine) & for large sites, they're not going to be useful anyway (use sitemaps, use normal cross-linking, check with a crawler of your choice)."

For users, that is another thing he said. He wrote "Do they make sense for users? I guess it's a good signal that your normal navigation & in-site search are bad if people end up going to your HTML sitemap pages :)."

Old school SEOs forever have said HTML sitemaps is an important part for SEO.

But the truth is, if Google cannot crawl your small web site through your normal navigation, then you got bigger issues. And most sites provide XML sitemaps for search engines. But as you can see from John above, large or small sites, it seems HTML sitemaps don't really give you a value add for SEO or ranking purposes.

Despite what John says, I've seen large sites (in the hundreds of thousands of pages) see organic benefits from HTML style sitemaps. In my opinion it becomes important when you have large portions of the site separated into unique sections that might not be interlinked very well.

Establishing a well organized HTML sitemap can help create relationships between pages that are part of a very large web that might not be well connected otherwise.

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