Today I am sharing a tip on why it can be better not to include more than 10,000 URLs in one sitemap.
Currently, Google accepts a sitemap file of up to 50 MB (uncompressed) and 50,000 URLs. For more URLs, multiple sitemaps are required (which can be linked to a sitemap index file).
For smaller sites (with less than 10,000 URLs), you don't have to worry about this. But for larger websites with thousands and millions of pages, it can be difficult to make sure every page is crawled and indexed by Google.
So while larger websites can put up to 50,000 URLs per sitemap, it's recommended to put only 10,000 URLs per sitemap — which can lead to effective crawling and indexing.
According to data observed by many SEOs, smaller sitemaps are easier for Google to process and crawl. They are also lighter and so faster to download.
Also, some sites take this too far by having 1,000 URLs per sitemap — which can also complicate things.
So 10,000 URLs per sitemap for larger websites is a good combination of URLs and file size.
You can read these excellent articles by Barry Adams and Oliver (ohgm) to learn more on this.