Late last month, Google and Bing both announced that they are increasing the sitemaps file size limit. Originally a 10MB limit, both search engines will now allow sizes to be up to 50MB, however the 50,000 URL limit is still in effect.
Sitemaps exist to help search engines understand what and how many pages every website has. Regularly uploading a new sitemap file to your website is one of many of Google’s SEO ranking factors for websites. Search engine bots crawl these sitemaps to determine whether or not there’s any new pages and content on any given site. The new file size limit will allow 50MB of uncompressed files.
Why increase the file size if you can’t add more URLs? Fabrice Canel, principle program manager at Bing, explained that many sitemaps that search engines encounter these days are full of very lengthy URLs as well as alternate language URLs and image URLs. As the Internet continues to age, the existing sites on the internet will also continue to add pages and images.