When adding a html sitemap to a site, for SEO purposes should the links it contains be locally referenced or is it better to use the full URL?


  <li><a href="/company/about-us.html">About Us</a></li>
  <li><a href="/company/environmental-policy.html">Environmental Policy</a></li>
  <li><a href="/company/recruitment.html">Recruitment</a></li>
  <li><a href="/company/faqs.html">FAQs</a></li>


  <li><a href="http://www.mydomain.com/company/about-us.html">About Us</a></li>
  <li><a href="http://www.mydomain.com/company/environmental-policy.html">Environmental Policy</a></li>
  <li><a href="http://www.mydomain.com/company/recruitment.html">Recruitment</a></li>
  <li><a href="http://www.mydomain.com/company/faqs.html">FAQs</a></li>
  • Are you referring to XML sitemaps, or a just a HTML 'sitemap' page? Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 21:33
  • This would be for a HTML sitemap page.
    – slaterio
    Commented Mar 25, 2014 at 11:27

2 Answers 2


Sitemap URLs must be absolute.

From: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/183668

You must fully specify URLs, as Google attempts to crawl them exactly as provided.

As a side note, sitemaps do not effect SEO.

  • I would not say that sitemaps do not effect SEO. They won't increase a page's ranking, but they can definitely help search engine's surface newly added content quicker. Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 18:13
  • I agree that sitemaps help search engines spider a site quickly. I know this first hand. However, there is absolutely no effect on site performance except that the opportunity exists to add pages quickly. However, there is no guarantee that Google or Bing will even read the sitemap. Often, depending upon the site, the sitemap is downloaded, parsed, then ignored. One factor being the size and scale of the site. Other than being able to add pages quickly, there is absolutely no effect on SEO at all. We must be clear on this to prevent people from getting the wrong impression.
    – closetnoc
    Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 19:36

The accepted answer is correct for XML sitemaps, but as per your comment, your question was about a HTML sitemap.

There is no particular reason to use full URLs in HTML sitemaps. Either of your code examples would be fine, although the first (that uses absolute paths) would be my personal preference.

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