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I usualy submit simple text urls list as sitemap on Google webmaster tools. It's just a matter of simplicity, a simple text file is lightweight, easier to read also for humans (actually for me). :)

What's the cath then in submitting an XML sitemap? Any pros you found out in your experince?

Thanks,

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

You've found the main advantage of using a text list of URLs -- it's easy to make a text-file like that on your own. However, once you go past a certain number of URLs, making it manually just isn't worth the time, and if you're going to make a Sitemap file with a tool, the simplicity of a text-file doesn't really play a role anymore.

By using XML files, you gain the ability to provide more information than just URLs. For instance, you could include the last-modification date (to signal that a URL has changed), or you could even start adding other content types, such as images and videos.

With a bit of practice, it's still possible to "read" XML files yourself. However, I wouldn't recommend making them by hand, it's just too easy to add mistakes, so if you haven't done so already, you might want to take a look at the various Sitemap generators.

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If you're looking at various sitemap generators, GSiteCrawler is a good choice. –  Joshak Nov 15 '10 at 3:02
    
thanks I always use sitemap generator even to create simple text sitemaps. BTW are you really the JohnMu, Google employee? :) I asked this question cause I was concerned about this google.com/support/forum/p/Webmasters/… for which I got no replies. :)) Just in case you have time to have a look on it. Basically I'm concerned that sitemap in the form of text urls list makes Google to not understand & –  Marco Demaio Nov 15 '10 at 9:42
    
@Joshak: good to know another one, I usually use this one: xml-sitemaps.com –  Marco Demaio Nov 15 '10 at 9:47
    
@Johm Muller: I fdound the solution at the comment I posetd above, thanks –  Marco Demaio Nov 17 '10 at 13:09
    
So, unless you are adding other content types, the only benefit is the last-changed property? –  UpTheCreek Jan 29 '11 at 1:47
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