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I'm in the process of replacing my old sitemaps with a new form which should better represent our site. However, as bots can take days or even weeks to scan all of our urls after submitted I do not want to adversely affect our site. If I submit the new sitemaps simultaneously so there are duplicates of all urls, will this affect my site negatively? The old sitemaps would be removed after the new ones are scanned.

Is this the correct process for replacing sitemaps, or does anyone have a different recommendation?

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Yeah. That is the wrong approach.

Just replace your sitemap. Keep life Simple!

Honest and legitimate bots won't fully spider your site just because you updated or replaced your sitemap. They are smarter than that. The decision to visit a page for a search engine is based on metrics in their database and not an updated sitemap. I update my sitemap often. Some sites update their sitemaps daily and some every few minutes. It is not a problem. Go nuts and have fun!!

  • Thanks! Is it acceptable to have an index sitemap for multiple other sitemaps in xml format if the individual sitemaps are xml.gz? – user2694306 May 13 '15 at 15:37
  • Yes. My site is huge. Even though I do not compress my sitemaps, I do have an index sitemap and about 16 other sitemaps. None are compressed, but all of them including the index sitemap can be compressed without an issue. I just did not want to write the code to compress the files since I rolled my own. For most sites, compressing the files are not really necessary, but if it is a simple click, then I would go ahead and compress the files anyway. Why not?? If it is harder than a simple click or two, then I would not worry about it too much. – closetnoc May 13 '15 at 15:46
  • One problem I am facing with this, though slightly unrelated to the original issue: our site has around 2.5M pages. Google won't and we don't expect them to index everything. However, how can I prioritize what they do actually index. Is adding a high priority enough, or does the ordering of the sitemaps in the index file also matter? Any insight that you could provide wold be appreciated. – user2694306 May 20 '15 at 12:05
  • @user2694306 Yes. Of course you are right! The priority is good and is taken seriously, but you nailed a semi-secret where Google will process the sitemaps in read order. However, at some point page freshness and other metrics take over. Still Google will always read your sitemaps in order even if they ignore it. If it is possible, make your high priority items first in your very first sitemap file. Bing definitely reads your sitemaps in order every time. But Google will mix it up with their own algo a bit. – closetnoc May 20 '15 at 14:27
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Remove the old sitemap and submit new one. For fast indexing, use bulk ping services for for all URLs.

If you want to remove duplicate URLs from current site map, then use Microsoft Excel to this job.

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