I've got a website with about 170 pages and I want to create an effective Sitemap for it as it is long due. The website is internally linked very well but I still want to take advantage of creating a sitemap to allow SE's to crawl my site easier and to hopefully increase my websites PR. Though I am slightly confused to what I must do: Is it necessary to create a .xml sitemap AND a HTML Sitemap (both)? ... Because I've never worked with .xml ... where do I put this file once it's created? In the Root folder? So I assume that this sitemap.xml is ONLY to be read by spiders and NOT by website visitors. IE: No visitor on my website is going to visit the page sitemap.xml, am I correct? ... Hence why I should also create an HTML sitemap (sitemap.htm)?
Normally no user will see your sitemap.xml, it's there for the robots and spiders, you're right. You put it on the root directory of the site.
In theory, a sitemap.xml should be enough, no need of a sitemap.html... but sitemap.html are useful for SEO, and some users like to use them to navigate the site. If you do a sitemap.xml, the .html can be automatically generated from the xml, you don't need to pass a lot of time to generate it, so IMHO you should still do both of them.
Just another Question. The sitemap.xml - would it be necessary to break that document up if you have more than 100 links? Or does that only apply to the HTML sitemap?– MSchumacherJun 29, 2012 at 16:50
According to the Wikipedia article, the limit is 50 000 URLs and 10 MB per sitemap.– LostInBrittanyJun 29, 2012 at 17:17
Hmmm, I'm sure that is allowed but is it the best practice SEO-wise. Great, thanks for your help otherwise, I'll see what I can find out regarding my question just above and post it here in-case it helps other people wanting to know.– MSchumacherJun 29, 2012 at 17:35
I meant that you don't need to cut sitemap.xml. Splitting the sitemap for SEO-wise reasons would only be interesting for the HMTL– LostInBrittanyJun 29, 2012 at 17:41
Actually Google suggests using an HTML sitemap as well as an XML sitemap when you can because the HTML links in an HTML sitemap they'll always crawl while a sitemap there's no guarantee. Either Matt Cutts or John M from WMT posted about this.– AnagioJul 1, 2012 at 3:57
sitemap.htm. XML sitemaps are for search engine spiders to know what pages you want them to index.