Google ignores priority and changefreq fields in your sitemap

You can safely drop support for Priority and Frequency fields in your sitemap. Don't worry, Google won't care

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According to the Sitemap Protocol, there are 4 attributes you can add inside a sitemap's <url> tag

  • loc
  • lastmod
  • changefreq
  • priority

You can find a lot of articles online saying that changefreq and priority fields are important for your technical SEO, but in reality, the only important fields that you need to add are the loc (the url) and the lastmod (even the lastmod field has become questionable nowadays!).

What Google says

John Mueller is a popular figure in the SEO community who works as a search advocate at Google. On Twitter, he confirmed that Google only cares about the URL and the last modificiation date and they ignore frequency and priority fields.

He also confirmed this in a Webinar where he said pretty much the same thing.

Gary Illyes from Google called them a "bag of noise".

Google even says so in their official documentation. You have to wonder why there are so many articles online explaining the importance of priority and changefreq fields.

So should I bother adding them to my sitemap?

My recommendation is no. Since they don't add anything and require work to set up and kept updated for every page/type, you'll create yourself work and toubles with no benefit.

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