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I have two questions regarding site maps:

1) Currently my site has around 5,000 pages. However, in the future it will contain more than 50,000 pages. Should I start using sitemap-index with only one sitemap listed at the current time? Or should I use a sitemap and when I pass the 50,000 limit add a sitemap-index file with 2 sitemaps listed? Does it even matter??

2) Should I re-submit sitemap through Google webmasters tools every time I add a new URL? Or does it check it automatically?

Joel

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

1) If your site is going to grow quickly write a sitemap generator that creates the appropriate number of sitemaps based on the the total number of pages being submitted. This way your site can grow and you won't have to worry about revisiting this in the future. If it is going to be a while before your site reaches the point where more then one sitemap is required then don't spend time on it now as there are more productive things you can be doing with your time. You can always revisit this once your site start to approach the point where more then one is needed.

Their is a protocol for submitting multiple sitemaps and if you follow it from the beginning you won't have issues going forward.

2) They automatically poll your sitemap periodically so there is no need to resubmit it.

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Thanks for the answer! However, I would appreciate if you can clarify one thing for me - If I start now by serving a sitemap-index pointing to one sitemap file, is there any disadvantage to it? What is the difference between submitting a single site map to submitting a sitemap-index pointing to one sitemap. –  Joel Nov 17 '10 at 15:50
    
The only difference is the latter method allows your site maps to grow without having to worry about reaching the maximum number of URLs allowed per sitemap. It's more futureproof. Otherwise the search engines treat the submitted data the same. –  John Conde Nov 17 '10 at 16:03

John's absolutely correct, though I'd add that you can use the sitemap-index as a real tool, even when you have fewer than 50,000 URLs.

If you have different types of content, or different types of pages, you can use sitemap-index to split your site and determine how each type of content or page is performing.

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