HTML sitemap meaning in English

HTML sitemap

What is a HTML sitemap?

A HTML sitemap, is a user view-able HTML sitemap that links to resources that can be viewed by users and also crawled by a search engine for indexing.

HTML sitemaps are often recommended to be structured, showing a hierarchal overview of a website, rather than a simple list of pages.

As they do not follow the sitemaps protocol, unlike a traditional XML sitemap a HTML sitemap cannot be added to Google Search Console as a sitemap.

HTML sitemaps are often linked to from the footer of a website, to enable both users and search engines to easily find the sitemap.

Are HTML sitemaps good for SEO?

Google do recommend the use of HTML sitemaps, though John Mu has stated in the past that he does not think they are required for good SEO on small websites.

Responding to a comment that stated HTML sitemaps were no longer needed, John replied:

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.

John Mu, BigSEO - October, 2019


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