Site Map: When to use & not use

Hi All,

My name is Brant Buckley and I recently created my web design business site using Webflow:

It is around 11 pages and I am wondering if you recommend including an autogenerated Site Map that Webflow creates in the backend? Do you only use them for larger websites? Can you use them on any website of any size? Does it help the website regardless of page size; meaning it can’t harm it, only help? It also looks like it potentially has to be submitted to Google as well? I am a newer web developer and still trying to learn here. Thanks!! - Brant

Here is my site Read-Only: LINK
(how to share your site Read-Only link)

According to Google:

If your site’s pages are properly linked, Google can usually discover most of your site. Proper linking means that all pages that you deem important can be reached through some form of navigation, be that your site’s menu or links that you placed on pages. Even so, a sitemap can improve the crawling of larger or more complex sites, or more specialized files.

A sitemap helps search engines discover URLs on your site, but it doesn’t guarantee that all the items in your sitemap will be crawled and indexed. However, in most cases, your site will benefit from having a sitemap.

You might need a sitemap if:

  • Your site is large. Generally, on large sites it’s more difficult to make sure that every page is linked by at least one other page on the site. As a result, it’s more likely Googlebot might not discover some of your new pages.
  • Your site is new and has few external links to it. Googlebot and other web crawlers crawl the web by following links from one page to another. As a result, Googlebot might not discover your pages if no other sites link to them.
  • Your site has a lot of rich media content (video, images) or is shown in Google News. Google can take additional information from sitemaps into account for Search.

You might not need a sitemap if:

  • Your site is “small”. By small, we mean about 500 pages or fewer on your site. (Only pages that you think need to be in search results count toward this total.)
  • Your site is comprehensively linked internally. This means that Google can find all the important pages on your site by following links starting from the home page.
  • You don’t have many media files (video, image) or news pages that you want to show in search results. Sitemaps can help Google find and understand video and image files, or news articles, on your site. If you don’t need these results to appear in Search you might not need a sitemap.

Thanks for this Jeff. Greatly appreciated!! - Brant