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Possible Duplicate:
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?

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hi5DGOu1uA0

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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