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  1. #1
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    How important are sitemap.xml files?

    I have a franchise client I've been working with. The sitemap.xml file is maintained and updated by the franchisor and they are unwilling to load a file I've sent them from pro-sitemaps.com. I've been asking them to update it, fearing that my recent blog posts haven't be picked up. However, they came back with results form:

    site:www.samplefranchise.com

    The blog articles I was concerned about were found using this method, meaning I suppose that Google crawled the entire site without specific reference from the sitemap.xml file. The franchisor says that since the pages are being indexed, that the sitemap issue is being tabled until 2016.

    I've led myself to believe that having an accurate sitemap.xml file submitted to Google Webmaster Tools is a critical element, but perhaps not.

    My questions are:

    1. Since the site is evidently being crawled, how concerned should I be that the sitemap.xml file is inaccurate?
    2. Does it negatively impact my "SEO score" to have pages that aren't included in the sitemap.xml file?
    3. Should I just be more like Elsa and "let it go?"

    Thanks in advance for your input.

  2. #2
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    Re: How important are sitemap.xml files?

    1. Since the site is evidently being crawled, how concerned should I be that the sitemap.xml file is inaccurate?

    I would make sure the sitemap 100% accurate for the best results. You can test the sitemap once you upload to webmaster tools. I would create video, news, page, image sitemaps. Here is a generator if you need one. Also make sure you add to Robots.txt file like so: Sitemap: url.com/sitemap.xml

    2. Does it negatively impact my "SEO score" to have pages that aren't included in the sitemap.xml file?

    No it won't affect your SEO in any negative way, but the pages won't won't be crawled as effective and I would say probably not rank as well as they could. Without one your making it hard for search engine. I would always submit a Sitemap to google & bing webmaster tools.

    3. Should I just be more like Elsa and "let it go?"

    ​Not sure what ur asking here, sorry!

  3. #3
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    Re: How important are sitemap.xml files?

    You don't necessarily need an xml sitemap if your site is being indexed correctly already. To get blog posts indexed faster you can fetch them in WMT (Google Search Console). I always recommend a sitemap, but I know sometimes dev teams have different agendas

    Best thing to do is make sure you have internal linking on the website set up optimally. That way bots can find the pages easier. Standard protocol I've used with blog posts is to fetch it as soon as it's published live on the site. That lets bots know it's there immediately.
    My rarely updated website (I should fix that) - https://www.ericrohrback.com
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  4. #4
    Member Since
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    Re: How important are sitemap.xml files?

    Bummer news not having access to the sitemap. Im guessing that you also lack access to gwt or bwt. I find that the number of crawls to a page directly correlates to rankings and impressions. So any nudges for additional crawls is always a plus plus in my book.

    Your only option without said access is internal linking from your highest crawled pages to those that are new.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Member Since
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    Re: How important are sitemap.xml files?

    Cody, I do have access to gwt, so I'm thinking about using pro-sitemaps.com to create the updated sitemap and submit it to Google that way. It's $5 per month, but when the goal is trying to boost my client's rankings (which is the franchisee), I don't want to use the excuse of relying on the franchisor to help me.

  6. #6
    Member Since
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    Re: How important are sitemap.xml files?

    Quote Originally Posted by ccbackus View Post
    Cody, I do have access to gwt, so I'm thinking about using pro-sitemaps.com to create the updated sitemap and submit it to Google that way. It's $5 per month, but when the goal is trying to boost my client's rankings (which is the franchisee), I don't want to use the excuse of relying on the franchisor to help me.
    @ccbackus. That's cool that you have qwt access. I would generate updated sitemap and update said map in gwt. That would benefit your franchisee as well as the others.
    I completly understand not wanting to rely on the franchisor. That's great that you have the franchisor trust and acess to gwt.
    Keep it updated at gwt and bwt. You will be happy that you spent the time and effort.
    I would also help them pay attention to crawl errors in the dashboard. Build 410 redirects for broken links to pages that no longer exist or never existed. And 301 redirects for valid pages with broken links.
    No crawl errors site wide will do wonders for franchisor and all franchisees.

    Good Luck

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

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