Roger in Omaha, Nebraska suffers from spiders. He writes to me asking why his current SEO firm never talks that much about them…

My SEO guy keeps telling me my HTML sitemap works fine. But being the suspicious type, I keep wondering about XML or ROR sitemaps. Another firm told me a text map is the best way to roll. Can someone tell me the real deal on which is best? Also, I read I need maps for my mobile site and my videos. Your thoughts? Thank you in advance for taking your precious time to answer my questions.


Rog, your SEO guy is what in technical terms is referred to as a complete moron. HTML sitemaps went out just after Y2K. Well, not really. But the poor saps that keep using them are missing out on the Google love and XML sitemaps.

For years now (right around 2006) most the search engines have been using XML standard files. Sure they also service HTML but your content will not get indexed as fast if you have a smoking hot XML file ready to get spidered.

Now as far as one map fits all, that’s hogwash. My recommendation is to add one sitemap for content (XML). Then another for mobile and yet another one for video. But there are some folks who think this is overkill. Really? Listen, you want the SEs to cruises though your entire site without errors. The goal should be to provide them with current file structures that help them prove your site provides value for your target keywords.

You can even go wild adding image and news sitemaps. The benefit is you’ll have more site content firing to increase your exposure. Here’s a great link to Google’s sitemap guide.

Rog, do yourself a favor. Fire your SEO goof off and get your sitemaps fixed today!