Google Cranks Up Number of Sitemaps Allowed

From 1,000 to 50,000 Sitemaps

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Google has at some point quietly increased its sitemaps limit from 1,000 to 50,000. In a discussion on a Google Webmasters forum thread back in April of last year, Google employee Jonathan Simon said that each sitemap index file can include 1,000 sitemaps.

Just recently, however, David Harkness posted to that same thread, pointing to official Google documentation for sitemap errors, which says under the "Too many Sitemaps" error:

The list of Sitemaps in your Sitemap index exceeds the maximum allowed. A Sitemap index can contain no more than 50,000 Sitemaps. Split your Sitemap index into multiple Sitemap index files and ensure that each contains no more than 50,000 Sitemaps. Then, resubmit your Sitemap index files individually.

Jonathan SimonThe larger number was confirmed by Simon, who came back to the conversation, saying, "Thanks for resurfacing this thread as we’ve improved our capacity a bit since then. The limit used to be 1,000. The Help Center article you point to is correct. The current maximum number of Sitemaps that can be referenced in a Sitemap Index file is 50,000."

As Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Roundtable, who stumbled across this post points out, "This is a huge increase in capacity…Still, each Sitemap file can contain up to 50,000 URLs, so technically 50,000 multiplied by 50,000 is 2,500,000,000 or 2.5 billion URLs can be submitted to Google via Sitemaps."

In other words, you can have a lot of sitemaps in one sitemap index file. That’s some good information to know, and it is a little surprising that there wasn’t a bigger announcement made about this.

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Google Cranks Up Number of Sitemaps Allowed
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  • http://www.duran-seo.co.il Duran seo

    i am not so suprised to see that the top limit of sitemaps allowed isn’t mentioned as much as other topics regarding webmasters advice.

    the biggest sites in the world will contain no more than tens of millions of pages, and google webmaster tools can handle this structure of sitemaps very easy.

    the only question remaining is, who is creating all these sitemaps and then uploads it…. shishh….

  • http://www.crearecommunications.co.uk Amelia

    I too am surprised that this hasn’t been made a bigger thing of. However as the previous commenter already said, it’s unlikely that a site that large exists!

  • http://dotcomreport.com SEO basics

    Those are some big numbers. Only the biggest organizations will take note of this increase. I can’t imagine having that many URLs. Thanks

  • Kevin

    To the notion that, “It’s unlikely that a site that large exists,” that seems shortsighted.

    For starters there are *huge* ecommerce sites like Amazon, Buy.com, and Walmart, all of which, while perhaps not at 2.5B pages today per se, certainly have cause to get to those numbers, particularly when you consider all the product category and subcategory pages, SKUs, the user reviews, product photos, and detailed product information.

    Further, there are music and movie sites with massive amounts of data. The iMDB comes to mind as one example.

    And, what about Wikipedia and Facebook. When you start talking about user-generated content, things get big in a hurry.

    I say, “2.5 billion, here we come!”

  • http://www.seobir.com seo

    i m also surprised Google Cranks Up Number of Sitemaps Allowed, thanks!

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