How many links SHOULD I have on my site map?
In our research, we have found that Google allows up to 50,000 URL’s on one site map! But remember, the Google site map is not intended for human visitors but for the Googlebot that indexes your XML site map to see all of your pages.
For an HTML site map, usually fewer than 100 links is acceptable. Any more than that Google considers to be a “link farm” and your site could be penalized.
How do you create a Site Map for a large site?The most feasible way to create a site map for a large site is to first find a site map generator, like GSite Crawler. Once you crawl your site you can break down the site into folders and create multiple site maps instead of just one map.
When do you need an XML site map?
If your web site does not have easy to follow navigation system then you might want to enlist Google’s help and add an XML site map. If your web site is pretty straightforward and has navigation that’s easy to follow, then chances are the SE’s can index your site fairly efficiently. Remember to also have internal links amongst the pages of your site that link to important pages therefore creating more content for the SE spider to chew on and index. Google likes to see page rank on any given page as an importance factor.
To wrap it up, I would recommend XML site maps to anyone as an additional benefit to getting regular indexing and stats by Google and to anyone with a large site that is hard to navigate. HTML site maps are user-friendly and can be easily optimized with text wrapping around the text link. Every site should have at least an HTML site map with the XML site map being a “freebie” with some added Google feedback in the form of statistics.
*Map photo by Peter Ito