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 A step by step guide on How to Submit sitemap to Google Search Console with 4 simple steps.

 

What is a Sitemap?

A sitemap is a file that informs search engines, such as Google, about the pages present on your website. Its primary function is to assist search engines in discovering and indexing your site’s content efficiently.

Sitemaps are available in two main formats: extensible markup language (XML) and hypertext markup language (HTML). XML sitemaps are primarily used for search engine crawling and indexing, while HTML sitemaps serve as navigational aids for users.

Although sitemaps are predominantly created to help in crawling, companies also develop sitemaps as part of their website architecture planning process.

In this blog, we will guide you on how to add a sitemap to Google Search Console easily.

You can refer to our Guide on Google Search Console : Click here

 

 

How to Submit  Sitemap to Google

Google helps you to add a sitemap directly through one of its free tools called Google Search Console (GSC.) It was formerly known as the Google Webmaster tool.

Let’s see how to submit a sitemap to Google through Google Search Console.

Step 01: Log into your Google Search Console Account.

Open your Google Search Console account and then you can see an option to select the property (website) at your left-hand side (top left corner.) If you only have one property, there will be only that displayed. But if you have more than one property, you need to select which property you need to submit the sitemap.

How to submit sitemap to Google step one

Step 02: Select “Sitemaps” from the left sidebar menu.

You can see a sidebar menu on the left-hand side. And under the “Indexing” section, there is an option called “Sitemaps.” Select that option.

How to submit sitemap to Google step two

When you open the Sitemaps option, you will see a screen like this.

How to submit sitemap to Google search console (1)

This is where you can manage your sitemaps. This area has two sections,

  • Add a new sitemap
  • Submitted sitemaps

Step 03: Find your XML sitemap URL.

There are two types of Sitemaps: XML Sitemaps and HTML sitemaps.

An XML sitemap is a document that outlines all the pages present on your website. Its purpose is to facilitate search engine bots in navigating and indexing your website content efficiently.

An HTML sitemap is a webpage within your website that contains a list of all the important pages on your site. It helps both search engine bots and human visitors find and explore different sections of your website effortlessly.

Since HTML sitemap is not for SEO purposes, let’s focus on XML sitemaps.

Here are some effective methods to locate your XML sitemap:

Check the common location, which is often at https://yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml. Many websites follow this way for storing their XML sitemap.

Use a search operator on Google. By searching for “site:yourdomain.com filetype:xml,” you can potentially discover the location of your sitemap within search results.

Examine your robots.txt file, usually found at https://yourdomain.com/robots.txt. Sometimes, this file contains a direct link to your XML sitemap.

If you find that your website doesn’t have an XML sitemap, you’ll need to create one to enhance search engine crawling and indexing of your website content.

Step 04: Add the new sitemap to Google Search Console.

Once you find the URL of your sitemap, you can add it to the “Add a new sitemap” section. Copy and paste the URL in the given space and click Submit.

Submit sitemap to Google

Once you’ve submitted your sitemap, you’ll receive a confirmation message showing that the submission was successful.

How to add a site map to Google search console

After some time, you’ll find your sitemap listed under “Submitted sitemaps.” This list provides details such as the submission date, the last time Google read the sitemap, and the number of pages discovered within it.

The status of your sitemap submission is crucial. A green “Success” status indicates that there are no issues detected.

how to Submit sitemap to Google

If you see a “Couldn’t fetch” or “Has errors” status, it’s important to address these issues promptly. You should follow the suggestions provided in the report on how to rectify the errors.

What Your XML Sitemap Should Contain:

Your XML sitemap should contain the following information:

URLs you want indexed: Include only pages you want search engines to index and display in their search results. Exclude pages with a “noindex” tag.

“lastmod” value: Provide information on when each page was last updated, aiding search engines in determining recency.

“hreflang” value: If your website has localized versions of pages, indicate them in the sitemap to assist search engines in serving the appropriate language or regional variant.

Information to exclude from your sitemap:

Non-canonical pages: Include only the canonical version of pages, particularly if there are duplicate or near-duplicate versions.

3xx or 4xx pages: Pages returning client errors (4xx) or redirects (3xx) should be omitted from the XML sitemap.

“changefreq” and “priority” values: Google disregards these values, so there’s no need to include them in your sitemap.

Common Sitemap Issues Detected by Site Audit

Here are some common sitemap issues that the Site Audit tool can detect:

  1. Sitemap not found: Your website either lacks a sitemap or the sitemap is not located where expected.
  2. Sitemap.xml not indicated in robots.txt: Your website’s robots.txt file fails to specify the location of the sitemap.xml file.
  3. Incorrect pages found in a sitemap: Your sitemap includes URLs that shouldn’t be there, such as redirects or non-canonical URLs.
  4. Sitemap has format errors: Errors exist in the format of your sitemap file, such as missing XML tags.
  5. Sitemap files are too large: Your sitemap exceeds the size limits set by Google, potentially hindering proper indexing.

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