Differences Between XML Sitemaps and RSS/Atom Feeds & Why You Should Use Both

Differences Between XML Sitemaps and RSS Feeds

It is important for any site to submit sitemaps.xml file in search engines webmaster. Particularly for sites that are large number of page or updated very frequently.  But while many webmasters submit either an XML or a RSS/Atom sitemap, many don’t realize they can submit both in webmaster, as each plays a very different role for websites.

Sitemaps can be in XML sitemap, RSS, or Atom formats. The major difference between these file formats are that XML sitemaps list list of the whole set of URLs within a site, while RSS/Atom feeds describe recent pages added to the site or changes made in site. This has important implications:

 Sitemap.xml v/s Rss Feed

  • XML sitemaps are usually large; RSS/Atom feeds are small, containing only the most recent updates to your site.
  • XML sitemaps are downloaded less frequently than RSS/Atom feeds.

For website optimal search engine crawling, we recommend using both XML sitemaps and RSS/Atom feeds. All search engines get all information about all of the pages on your site by XML sitemap. RSS/Atom feeds will provide all recent updates on your website, helping search engines to keep your content fresher in its index.

  • Note that submitting sitemaps or feeds does not guarantee the indexing of those URLs.