Google Doesn’t Mind How Sitemaps Are Split up
Google combines separate sitemaps together so that they can be processed. This means it is up to webmasters to decide how they want to split up sitemaps.
Google Treats XML Sitemaps Differently From HTML Pages
Google treats XML sitemaps differently from HTML pages, as they are a machine-readable file and not meant to be indexed by search engines.
Image Sitemaps Help Google Understand Which Images You Want to Be Indexed
Google can find images to index in the source code, but Sitemaps can help them to confirm which images you want to be indexed.
Google News Sitemap is Fastest Way to Get Pages Crawled for Publishers
Submitting a Google News sitemap is the fastest way to get Google to crawl pages for publishing sites.
Nested Sitemap Index Files Aren’t Supported by Google
Google doesn’t support nested sitemap index files, where one sitemap references another one. Instead set up separate sitemap index files and submit them separately.
You can use non-English Language Locations Names in Image Sitemaps Geolocation Tags
You can use non-English languge names for locations in Image Sitemaps geolocation tags. You can test them by searching for the location in Google Maps and see if Google can figure out where the location is. John thinks that Google’s algorithms may not use the information.
It’s Normal for Google to Index XML Sitemap Files
If you see an XML sitemap file showing in the search results when you search for a specific URL on your website, this is normal and won’t cause any issues. If you don’t want XML sitemaps to be indexed, then add an x-robots tag in the HTTP header.
Only Use Sitemap Files Temporarily for Serving Removed URLs to be Deindexed
Sitemap files are a good temporary solution for getting Google to crawl and deindex lists of removed URLs quickly. However, make sure these sitemaps aren’t being served to Google for too long.
Use X-Robots-Tag HTTP Header to Noindex Indexed Sitemap Files
If sitemap files are indexed for normal search queries, then you can use the X-Robots-Tag HTTP header to noindex all pages ending in .xml or .gz.