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Do I need to update the sitemap.xml file after removing some URLs from the website and merge three different URLs to a single one.

For example, three different URLs:

  1. www.example.com/one.html (main url)
  2. www.example.com/one-yellow.html
  3. www.example.com/one-yellow-means.html

and the final merged URL: www.example.com/one.html.

  • 2
    This is always a good idea to keep your website clean. – Zistoloen May 23 '16 at 12:57
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It is recommended to keep a sitemap.xml up-to-date and free of errors*.

If you merge the content of www.example.com/one-yellow.html and www.example.com/one-yellow-means.html into www.example.com/one.html you probably (ideally) redirect them both to www.example.com/one.html.

Other URLs that have been removed may serve an HTTP status 404 (not foud) or similar.

In order to make crawling your website easy Google recommends to use only URLs in your sitemap that serve HTTP Status 200.

If you have URLs in your sitemap causing errors you can see warnings in your Google Search Console property: SItemap Error report in GSC

Long story short:

  1. Make sure to 301 redirect your old URLs to your new URL.
  2. Update your Sitemap and delete all URLs that do not serve HTTP 200 directly

*For further possible errors regarding sitemaps see: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/183669?hl=en

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