How to manage a growing sitemap without adversely affecting search rankings

Posted on 2005-05-10
Last Modified: 2013-12-03
Hi, thanks in advance for your help.

To clarify the question would require asking another related question first:

1. If I change the file location of a ranking site from sitemap-1 to sitemap-2, will I lose my rankings?

2. If so, how should I be managing my sitemap for a constantly growing website? Let's say I prefer to group related articles together on the same sitemap and I only have 30 links per sitemap. This will inevitably cause some older pages to spill onto later sitemap page numbers.

I hope that makes sense. Thanks for your help.
Question by:frogpad
    LVL 33

    Accepted Solution

    I hope I'm following this correctly.  Please let me know if I'm not.  Second question first:

    "2. If so, how should I be managing my sitemap for a constantly growing website?"

    If your website keeps growing, your site map should keep growing.  At a certain point, you will need to divide up your site map so that you don't have too many links on a page (Google recommends that you stay under 100 links per page, for example).  These don't necessarily have to be 'later' sitemap pages.  Why not link to each of them from the home page just as you link to the main sitemap page?  You could have your primary sitemap under 'sitemap' and on your site map include links to each of the other sections you create, ie. First Subject Articles, Second Subject Articles.  Therefore, your article listing pages will be one click away from your home page just like your site map.

    "1. If I change the file location of a ranking site from sitemap-1 to sitemap-2, will I lose my rankings?"

    The purpose of a site map (from an SEO perspective anyway) is to give the search engine crawlers an easy way to navigate to - and hopefully index - all of the pages on your website.  You may have to change the structure of your site map from time to time, but as long as your pages are still available to be found, it shouldn't be an issue.  Where it can be a difference is if a page moves from a sitemap page that is one click away from the home page to a sitemap page that is two (or more) clicks away from the home page.  That can be addressed, however, by the approach outlined above.

    Author Comment

    I apologize for the delay. Great answers, thanks very much.

    LVL 33

    Expert Comment

    Thank you for the kind words and the A.  I'm glad to be able to help out.

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