Are HTML sitemaps (like this one http://www.google.com/sitemap.html) important from a SEO perspective, or is uploading an XML to Google enough?

Beside from visualizing a data structure for the user, why do you create HTML sitemaps? Internal link power?

  • 2
    Google is not the only search engine around. The most important one, but not the only one.
    – Pekka
    May 19, 2011 at 14:00
  • Pekka: You are absolutely right, but in some cases Google is the only one worth worrying about.
    – u840903
    May 19, 2011 at 14:09
  • true. -----
    – Pekka
    May 19, 2011 at 14:10
  • Why do you upload the XML instead putting it on your server as sitemap.xml, where other search engines might be able to parse them? Additionally, as John Conde states, a HTML sitemap is pretty useful for humans. I've seen a lot of websites on which I didn't how to go to a specific page.
    – feeela
    May 19, 2011 at 14:25
  • @janjarfalk It depends on the market you're in though. That thinking won't work for sites getting visitors from China.
    – Kenzo
    Feb 2, 2013 at 13:24

4 Answers 4


HTML sitemaps are useful to search engines as they do two things:

  1. Tell them how to find much of your content. In this respect they perform a similar function as XML sitemaps.

  2. They are links which do transfer PageRank and use anchor text, both of which are good things for SEO. Yes, internal links are good for SEO.

Don't forget, HTML sitemaps are also very handy for humans. In fact, this falls under usability which is one of the major tenants of SEO.


The XML submitted to Google is enough.

Usually the sitemap.html is for the user only. In some cases, when you don't want or you don't have access to the webmasters tools to submit the XML, is easier to put it on the sitemap.html.

The idea with this file is to let Google know about your files that make your site and you need G. to crawl. If you have a good site-link structure, you don't even have to submit an XML to Google. He is smart enough to find all your pages.

If you have some pages that you don't want Google to index, just put them in robots.txt file.


It's best to have both the XML and the HTML sitemaps. An XML sitemap of course for Google - and anywhere else you might want to submit it. The HTML sitemap is useful for both search engines and humans.

The HTML also helpful for you, as a webmaster, since it gives you an easy to see overview of the logic behind your site.


Another use for an HTML sitemap is that it provides more internal links. Which increases the importance of your pages. If you don't have many internal links to pages, then this can improve your SEO ranking.

  • Although HTML sitemaps are not a very efficient way to pass internal PageRank through links. It is always better to link your pages to each other directly. Aug 23, 2022 at 7:52

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