Google: Keep Old Redirected URLs In Sitemaps Files Temporarily

Mar 30, 2022 • 7:21 am | comments (1) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Sitemap

Google's John Mueller said again on Twitter that you should only keep old URLs that have been redirected elsewhere in your XML sitemap file temporarily and not long term. John has said this a few times before - but now John is saying keep them there for one to three months, as opposed to less than six months. In fact, John previously stated these strategies have limited impact overall.

John said on Twitter this morning "for a temporary state it's fine to have redirects in the sitemap file." "Long term, you want the URLs listed there that you want as canonical," he added.

So yes, your XML sitemaps should probably only contain URLs that work properly and do not 404 or 301 or 302 to other places. But in the short term, you can have those in place but don't forget about them and make sure to remove those from your sitemap in the future.

John later added "The reasons for that differ: for redirects, the sitemap lightly helps with recrawling (finding the redirects). For stable URLs, the sitemap helps with canonicalization.""Temporary is when the move is mostly complete, and you want to focus on the new stable state. Practically, probably after 1-3 months. To be fair, I suspect the effect is minimal nowadays, but optimizers want to optimize," he added.

Here are those tweets:

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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