3 How to send a Sitemap to Google to identify your website easily

A sitemap is a file (usually in XML format), containing a list of all the pages on your site that you want Google to know. It should be placed in the root directory of your website and accessible to search engine crawlers.

In this post, you will learn 3 different methods that you can use to submit a sitemap to Google.

  • Use Google Search Console (recommended method)
  • Using robot.txt
  • Use the command line

Submit a Sitemap using Google Search Console

This is the most common and recommended method.

Step 1: Make sure your sitemap is in the root directory of your site and is publicly accessible.

Open a new browser window and enter the sitemap URL. Usually it has the following format:

https://example.com/sitemap.xml or https://example.com/sitemap_index.xml

If all went well, you should see something like this:

XML Sitemap example

XML Sitemap example

Step 2: Register your site with Google Search Console

If you have not already done this, you need to create an account and register your website with Google. If you already have an account, skip to step 3.

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Step 3: Submit your Sitemap

  • Click on SITemaPS (under INDEX)
  • Add your sitemap name (with extensions) in the ‘Add new sitemap’ area
  • Click the submit button
Submit a Sitemap to Google

Submit a Sitemap to Google using Google Search Console.

If all goes well, you will be advertised with the Sitemap Notice successfully submitted.

Sitemap Send a message

Sitemap Send a message

That's all you have to do to let Google know about your sitemap. Google will track the sitemap file to change and add new pages in their index.

Submit a sitemap using a robots.txt file

The robots.txt is a text file that resides in the root directory of your website and gives instructions to search engines as files (or parts) of a website they can. crawling and indexing.

One of the elements you can add to your robot is a ‘sitemap’. You can add this section wherever you want in the file and it has the following format:

Sitemap: ‘path to your sitemap file’.

Below is an example of how robot.txt looks like with a sitemap element.

When search engines (not just Google) read your robot.txt, they will also crawl and index your sitemap.

User-agent: *

Allow: /

Sitemap: https://example.com/sitemap.xml

Submit a sitemap via a command line or programmatically

This is the least common method you can use but it's another option you have to give your sitemap to Google.

You can use ping command The program is in the following format:

http://www.google.com/ping?sitemap=’path to sitemap file ’

For example:





http://www.google.com/ping?sitemap=https://example.com/sitemap.xml

You can also do that through a browser window by pasting the URL. Once submitted, you will receive a ‘sitemap alert’.

Notice of the sitemap received

Notice of the sitemap received

How to delete a sitemap for Google

If for any reason, you want to delete the sitemap from Google:

  • Log into Google Search Console
  • Click on SITemaPS (under INDEX)
  • Click the sitemap file you want to delete
  • Click the three dots (top right corner) and select DELETE SITEMAP.
Delete Sitemap from Google

Delete Sitemap from Google

Submit a Sitemap - Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions users ask about a sitemap.

Do I need to submit a sitemap to Google?

It's correct. While Google does a great job exploring new sites or updating existing content, you can make their lives easier and speed up the discovery process by submitting a sitemap. One of the three methods described above.

Does Yoast send Google a sitemap?

Is not. Yoast is creating a sitemap for your site and is always up to date but it doesn't automatically submit it to Google.

What should be included in my sitemap?

You should only include pages of websites that you want to be part of the Google index and appear in Google search results.

Duplicate or thin content pages should not be part of your XML sitemap.

Read how to optimize your XML sitemap for all the details.

Do I have to use all three methods to submit my site to Google?

Is not. Use only one of the methods. The recommended method is to submit a sitemap via Google Search Console. This way, you will be able to check the statistics and also resubmit if necessary.

Do I have to resend the sitemap to Google every time I update my site?

Is not. You only need to submit your sitemap once and Google will track it for changes.

The only cases where you should resubmit a sitemap is when redesigning the site, changing the domain name, changing the permalink structure or making many changes to the content.

Even if you do not resubmit your sitemap, Google will receive the final changes, resending will help the process faster.

References

Sitemaps are a very useful tool for SEO. Through a sitemap, you can control which pages you want to be part of the search engine index.

You can also use it to provide search engines with information about your multilingual implementation (in case your website is available in multiple languages).

Sending a sitemap to Google is a simple task. You can use any of the above methods to let Google know about your site.

Once submitted, Google monitors the sitemap file for changes so you don't have to resubmit each time you publish or update a post.