Sitemaps are not necessary for the websites unless they fulfill one of the three categories as stated by Google’s Daniel Waisberg in the latest episode of Google’s search console Training series on Youtube. The video is based on how to use sitemaps reports in search console. Google’s John Mueller has made a cameo in the video in order to raise a question which states that – If I don’t have a sitemap will google find all of my pages?
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Is It Possible For Google To Find Pages Without A Sitemap?
Ideally, if your website is small and all the pages are properly linked then Googlebot can fetch the content easily. As said by Waisberg ‘You do not need to worry about a sitemap’. Nevertheless, if your website fulfills one of the following categories then sitemap may help Google decide what and when to crawl your site.
A Sitemap Is Beneficial If:
- The website pages are segregated
- The website is large
- The website is new or changes timely
A sitemap can help direct Googlebot toward newly published content and show where to find the isolated pages. It is also helpful for large websites to prioritize which content to crawl first. But it does not give you a guarantee as said by Waisberg that Google will not always crawl every URL mentioned in a sitemap.
Contrary, if you do not include URLs in a sitemap there is no guarantee that it will not be crawled. Google is capable of finding pages whether or not they are included in a sitemap. Google does not always recommend having a sitemap for a website but Waisberg says that there is no harm in having one. However, having a sitemap is beneficial for a website.
Automatically Generated Sitemaps
When creating a sitemap Google specifically suggests using automatically generated sitemaps over manually creating one. WordPress plugins and Drupal extensions help make sitemaps files automatically for you. Users should make note of sitemap file sites, as if you have a large website it will require multiple sitemaps to include all the URLs
For more information about sitemaps watch the video below