Google: HTML sitemaps are not useful for SEO (but they can be for users)

Google’s John Mueller said on Reddit that HTML sitemaps aren’t useful for SEO. Websites should be crawlable anyway. If visitors and search engines cannot find all pages of your website through the regular navigational links on your website, you should improve the internal links on your site.

HTML sitemaps

“I agree. When it comes to SEO … for small sites, your site should be crawlable anyway (and if you’re using a common CMS, it’ll almost always be fine) & for large sites, they’re not going to be useful anyway (use sitemaps, use normal cross-linking, check with a crawler of your choice).

Do they make sense for users? I guess it’s a good signal that your normal navigation & in-site search are bad if people end up going to your HTML sitemap pages :).”

How to check the links on your website

The website audit tool in SEOprofiler analyzes the internal link structure of your website. It shows you how many clicks people need to get to particular pages of your website, and it shows you the pages that can be found through the regular links on your website.

In addition, you get detailed information about the errors on your web pages that should be fixed. If you want, the audit tool can also create an XML sitemap for your website:

Check your website now

Johannes Selbach

Johannes Selbach is the CEO of SEOprofiler. He blogs about search engine optimization and website marketing topics at "http://blog.seoprofiler.com".