Google Updates Size of XML Sitemaps
By Winston Burton
An XML sitemap is a file where you can list all the web pages on your site to tell the search engines about the organization of your site content. The XML sitemap allows search engines to find the deeper pages and display it on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) if the content on the web page is relevant to the end users query.
Previously, XML Sitemaps were limited to only 10 MB. Now, Google and Bing have jointly increased the file size limit of the XML sitemap files to up to 50 MB. Unfortunately, this change does not impact the 50,000 URL limit per site map; the change only applies to the size of the sitemap file.
What Does This Mean?
This means that the uncompressed version of the XML Sitemap can now be under 50 MB, rather than under 10 MB. Some sites have had very large site map files that were over 10 MB because of extremely long URLs, image URLs, etc. which can increase the size of the XML Sitemap.
Should I Use a Sitemap?
We always recommend using a XML sitemap, especially for large sites, to help the search engines find deeper level pages that they might not easily found. If you have a large site, breaking your XML sitemap down to multiple sitemaps is a good practice and can help you identify indexing issues for different parts of your sites.
Using the Sitemap protocol does not guarantee that your web pages are included in the SERPs but it does provide a signal for web crawlers to crawl different pages on your website.