My sitemap is huge (200k+ articles), so I want to implement pagination of the sitemap itself.

My question is what parameter do most search engines look for in a sitemap pagination? page=... or maybe p=...?

I know about the sitemap index, but it would be a bit of an overhead to create that just now.

  • Search engines don't look for a pagination parameter for sitemaps; they're not "pages" in the first place. Is there a reason your question seems to be based on an assumption of this?
    – Su'
    Mar 20, 2013 at 15:39
  • I'm assuming this, because I saw it in some place (can't remember exactly where), but it had something like /sitemap.xml.1 or /sitemap.1.xml, but I can't remember exactly the format. Mar 20, 2013 at 16:00
  • sitemap.1.xml can only be name of the file.
    – Zistoloen
    Mar 20, 2013 at 16:02
  • Yes, but I will also have sitemap.2.xml and so on, until 100. My question was: does Google know to look for sitemap.2.xml without me specifying a sitemap index file? Mar 20, 2013 at 16:04
  • 1
    No. You can define sitemap index file as a parent for all other sitemaps. Look at this for definition example.
    – Zistoloen
    Mar 20, 2013 at 16:13

1 Answer 1


You can use various sitemaps to divide yours.

In this article, it mentions:

If you do provide multiple Sitemaps, you should then list each Sitemap file in a Sitemap index file. Sitemap index files may not list more than 50,000 Sitemaps and must be no larger than 10MB (10,485,760 bytes) and can be compressed. You can have more than one Sitemap index file. The XML format of a Sitemap index file is very similar to the XML format of a Sitemap file.

You can also submit various sitemaps to Google.

  • Yes, I know about sitemap index files, but since I am building my sitemaps on the fly, I don't know exactly at any point in time, how many exact sitemaps I will have. Hence my question, if search engines look for a variable parameter in the sitemap's name. Mar 20, 2013 at 16:06
  • No. Search engine reads your sitemap index file as first (sitemap.xml you upload on Google Webmaster Tools for example). But this file defines all other sitemaps with file names you want.
    – Zistoloen
    Mar 20, 2013 at 16:11

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