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Are there any clear indicators that my sitemap file is beneficial?

The good:

  • You provide search engines with all the urls in your site

But, does the search engine search further than the provided urls in the xml site map? If you have a website with a forum does every post need to be in the sitemap?

What if remove the sitemap afterwords, will the search engine need to start over?


Here's a video of Matt Cutts from Google talking about both HTML and XML sitemaps


He suggests starting with an HTML, but if you have time use an XML sitemap as well. HTML sitemaps contain <a> tag links something Google will definitely crawl. XML isn't guaranteed but he does say use both if you can

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