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In the XML sitemap, there is a limit of 50,000 per XML sitemap. Is there a limit of links to be present on the HTML based sitemap?

If I have more than 100k pages or posts, Should I used them as pagination setup way for HTML sitemaps?

PS: XML sitemap is different from HTML based sitemap.

  • HTML sitemaps were an SEO technique that worked 10 years ago, but I haven't seen any better SEO from creating them recently. Any specific reason you are trying to create one today? – Stephen Ostermiller Sep 20 at 9:17
  • Stephen...That worked and it works well even now too. I'm creating them for a better bot crawl and users can easily find the index of the websites too very easily. – Suresh Kumar Gondi Sep 20 at 10:08
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    See also: How many links (internal) is too many? which is about links in an HTML page but not necessarily a sitemap HTML page. – Stephen Ostermiller Sep 20 at 10:11
  • Seems like, only testing and sticking with the sweet spot is the answer for this. As the navigation links and footer links will have too many internal links for sure in the long journey of a website. For example, Amazon has too many internal links etc.. – Suresh Kumar Gondi Sep 20 at 10:16
  • Since this was posted, Google's John Mueller weighed in on HTML sitemaps: Google Says HTML Sitemaps Not Useful For SEO Purposes – Stephen Ostermiller Oct 20 at 11:03
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It can have any amount of links, limitless, open end. But i very doubt, whether even the tenth link in it would be visited by Googlebot. You can monitor it with GA and/or your log files.

Google, just as any human, doesn't like link lists. They are simply not interesting - not relevant to something. Thats why HTML sitemaps are better to omit.

  • Google bot does crawl this html sitemap, I have seen the logs of some client websites. As this HTML sitemap as just list items in it. The question comes, when we have a website more than 500k+ that's where the problem arrives, whether we have to use paginated HTML sitemaps or not. – Suresh Kumar Gondi Sep 20 at 10:11
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True, the limit to an XML sitemap is 50MB (uncompressed) and 50,000 URLs. This is also the limit for any type of sitemap file, including HTML; any more than that, and the engine will stop crawling any single file. Also, @Evgeniy is correct that HTML sitemaps are pointless; nowhere in SEO literature does it say that Google or any search engine likes these types of sitemaps.

Sitemaps are a good way to hint to the engines which content is important, or has recently changed or been added, and submitting one in the Search Console is a great way to invite Google to re-crawl your site. (This is not a replacement for great website architecture and internal linking schemas.) Agree with @Stephen that sitemaps aren't nearly as crucial as they used to be, but in my own experience, they can still be helpful if done right. If you're going to have a large sitemap, best to stick with XML, since it's the standard.

Two things you can do here. You can have a single XML sitemap at the root, with only the most important and top level pages, plus newest content. The older content will be found and crawled if the site architecture is sound, or else if it was already indexed and no changes were made to the content, the engine won't even need to re-crawl it; it's already in.

For a more complete sitemap, you can break it up into multiple sitemaps. Basically, at the root, you'd create a sitemap index file, pointing to the URL's of all the sitemaps. You can break the sitemaps up by content type (pages, posts, etc.) or any way that makes sense for your site. A good resource here is Yoast; if you have a WordPress site, you might be using them already, but if not, look at how they structure their sitemaps and try to mimic that. If possible, it's best to automate sitemap generation and updates; otherwise you'll spend way too much time and labor on this.

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