lucy24 - 11:55 pm on Sep 9, 2012 (gmt 0)
now that Google has so many more sources of URI discovery, it seems like the diagnostic value of not having a sitemap is lost, but I always thought it an interesting counterpoint
It is around this point that paranoia a/o FUD kicks in and you start wondering if the whole Sitemaps page, beginning with the explicit line
Sitemaps are a way to tell Google about pages on your site we might not otherwise discover.
and going on to say
Sitemaps are particularly helpful if:
* Your site has dynamic content.
* Your site has pages that aren't easily discovered by Googlebot during the crawl process—for example, pages featuring rich AJAX or images.
* Your site is new and has few links to it. (Googlebot crawls the web by following links from one page to another, so if your site isn't well linked, it may be hard for us to discover it.)
* Your site has a large archive of content pages that are not well linked to each other, or are not linked at all.
is just another dirty trick. So you've got pages that people can't find, eh? Thanks for telling us. WHAM! and into the algorithm it goes.
A while back I cut my sitemap to the bone, so now it only lists directory and subdirectory index pages-- somewhere between 20 and 30 in all. Saves the bother of updating, and keeps the robots happy.