Should a URL Be in Multiple Sitemaps?

Should a URL Be in Multiple Sitemaps?

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Sitemaps are critical to your website because they index the contents of your pages. Although users can’t see them, they help web crawlers get information.

A large XML sitemap can cause slower crawling and indexing. Crawling is the process that search engine web crawlers or robots use to visit and download a page. They also extract the link to find more pages and update the search engine’s index.

Read more: What is URL Link?

What are Multiple Sitemaps?

XML sitemaps provide a clear way to communicate with search engines like Google. They index your website, especially specific pages that you want indexing. As a result, the pages appear in a hierarchical list to make it easier for users to find the necessary content a.

Multiple sitemaps are needed when the site’s size is more than the limits. They are placed in a Sitemap Index File for proper organization. This folder makes it easier for crawlers to process information.

What Triggers the Issue?

Remember that sitemaps have limits. You need to split your sitemap before it becomes too big. The URL limit you need to look out for is 50,000 links. If your links reach 50,000, you’ll get an error message about the site index being too large. In this video by John Mueller from Google, you can learn how to exceed the limit.

But how many sitemaps do you need? You can divide your sitemap index into multiple index files that list a maximum of 50,000 sitemaps. Yet, this doesn’t mean you should start submitting 50,000 sitemaps to Search Console. The best answer is more than two, and it depends on how large your website is. Use your generator tool to check the hierarchy and organization.

As a webmaster, remember that creating multiple sitemaps and uploading them are two different things. If there was a significant update to your map, always have it re-crawled. This will help you keep your site within the relevant search results along with different search queries.

How to Check the Issue

This part of the Sitechecker tool provides you with a valuable audit for a specific sitemap issue — having the same URL listed across multiple XML sitemaps. This can cause confusion for search engines when they crawl your site. By highlighting the ‘URL in multiple XML sitemaps’ issue, we direct you to where you may have inadvertent overlaps in your sitemap entries.

URL in Multiple Sitemaps Issue

When you click on ‘View issue,’ you’ll see a detailed list of URLs that appear in more than one sitemap. Upon opening this issue in the tool, you’ll see:

URL in Multiple Sitemaps Issue Pages List
  • Page URL: The exact address of the page that’s been detected in multiple sitemaps. It’s specific to help you locate and address the issue directly.
  • Page Weight: This metric gives you an idea of the ‘heaviness’ of a page — a factor that can influence load time and, by extension, SEO performance.
  • Status Code: It shows the HTTP response status code (like 200 for successful fetch) which indicates the response of the server upon requesting the URL.
  • Issue Found: The date when the issue was first identified, helping you track how long the issue has been present.

The tool makes it simple to track and rectify these sitemap discrepancies to ensure your website’s sitemap architecture is as effective as possible.

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Why Using Multiple Sitemaps Is Important

Usually, every website has at least two different types: XML and HTML. The XML type handles the proper indexing and crawling by search engines. It has an earlier and obsolete version, which is the TXT sitemap. The latter is for web users; you can upload it on your site’s homepage, and visitors can follow the map to find specific pages.

The main reason you should have multiple sitemaps is to minimize link crowding and to make sure every page of your website can be reached by the crawlers.

How To Fix It

If you want to fix the issue, break down one large sitemap into multiple ones. You can learn more details about splitting and managing sitemaps by domain by checking out this guide.

But should you add more sitemaps? Consider adding more if you need to minimize link crowding, ensure proper crawling, and improve search engine indexing. When you have more than one sitemap, it becomes more efficient to classify and categorize your website’s content.

When you have more than one sitemap, you also get better SEO. It works best when your website features different authors, blog posts, product pages, and more. It’s also great for websites that contain pages in varying languages.

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