Pascal Birchler, a developer program developer at Google who works closely with WordPress-related tasks, used this pal facepalming emoji after quoting this on Twitter: "A good looking XML sitemap brings a better user experience."
Here is this tweet:
“A nice looking XML sitemap makes for a better user experience.” Ps♂️ https://t.co/6d9yuepDWG
– Pascal Birchler (@swissspidy) August 14, 2020
XML sitemaps are not viewed by users and obviously do not affect the user experience.
Google's Gary Illyes also got involved:
I will say no too. This whole thread is a train wreck imo
– Gary ly 理 ／ 경리 Illyes (@ethod) August 15, 2020
And also John Mueller from Google:
As someone who has spent way too much time creating XSL files for sitemaps (https://t.co/XqhCR9VEvk says o_O 15 years ago) your website is terrible when your users need to look at your sitemap file .
– 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) August 15, 2020
No, XML sitemaps are for machines, not people. They give machines a good experience but not users a good user experience.
Forum discussion on Twitter.