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Is the sitemap really important? I ask this because I couldn't see the sitemaps of big websites such as Twitter, Facebook and others... The sitemap should be at "/sitemap.xml", "/sitemap.xml.gz" or "/sitemap.gz", isn't it?

How do you recommend to make a sitemap with ASP.NET MVC web site?

Thanks.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com May 17 '11 at 14:42

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6 Answers

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The sitemap is only important if you want to be able to submit a list of all your pages to search engines and request that they get indexed. If having your content show up in search engines isn't important to you, or if everything on your site is immediately linked from twitter or other popular places on the web and found and indexed by search engines without a sitemap, then you won't suffer by not having one.

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There is no rule that says a sitemap file should live in the root of a website and be named in a special way. Any engine that allows you to submit XML sitemaps allows you to specify the URL for the sitemap. I usually put them in a /sitemaps/ folder for convenience because I usually have several sitemaps. One for videos, one for news articles and one for general content. And actually one more that points to those three sitemaps so that I only have to submit one file.

Sometimes search engines don't find all of your content so a sitemap file is a way for you to say "this is all of my content, please cross reference with it when spidering". Engines aren't required to do this and there's no guarantee that they will but at least you tried. I have done experiments where I created a file that is only accessible through the sitemap file and it did appear in the search results.

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http://mvcsitemap.codeplex.com/ seem to have what you need.

I guess if you are as big as Facebook and Twitter you'll get by without it =)

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The sitemap also tells search engines when a page last changed. This allows the engines to re-index the page quicker without having to make a request for all pages on your site.

So if your site has lots of pages that change often in ways that need re-indexing, then you do need a site map.

However remember that the world got by for many years without site maps and that they are only a "hint" to a search engine.

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You don't have to use sitemap if your site can reach traffic like Facebook or Twitter. But if you want to make your user more easier to find their needs you should put it in your site.

Based on my experience, search engine try to find the sitemap to know your site structure, but some expert said that the new release of new engine stop did it.

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SEO stands on three basis:

  • Content (what you write/publish)
  • Relations (how others give you importance)
  • Structure (how you make your website readable/crawlable)

All three are important. Really important.

Sitemaps are a best practice, in order to keep your content indexed in one unique place. But please, make this in a smart way.

Make only ONE xml sitemap and derive the HTML sitemap from it.

Closing this question, please note that any website where you do log in to interact isn't really intended to be indexed by crawlers. They are made to be used, not just read (do you think google, yahoo, bing, ask... worry about SEO? Facebook, Friendster, Twitter, Youtube, Orkut...).

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-1 because absolutely those services worry about SEO. They're not in competition with little guys like us, but they are in competition with each-other. Big doesn't mean that SEO isn't still essential. –  Kzqai May 25 '11 at 21:28
    
@Tchalvak OK, I respect your opinion, despite it is different of mine. I don't want make a long discussion trending to trolls-like, but I ensure those guys don't really worries about SEO. they worry about accessibility, usability, reliability... but not crawlability or the content quality. –  Dave May 26 '11 at 21:55
    
Again, I doubt it, because, for example, facebook doesn't just have one large person running it. Take public pages, and more public space in general, which facebook is moving to. Since those pages will be crawled by search engines, and facebook wants it's users to benefit from high visibility, they have to do SEO on them. Or on publications by facebook, like developer APIs, or privacy changes. Same with twitter, higher visibility for their users is better for the. I think that the important emphasis is that priority should go to usability for users, then search engines, that is the key. –  Kzqai May 26 '11 at 23:39
    
Really, the upshot is that people find things on the internet mainly via search engines now, so SEO is a continuous need. –  Kzqai May 26 '11 at 23:40
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