We recently published a post on How to Submit URL to Google. It’s a step by step guide about submitting any of your website URL to Google via Search Console platform. This is a similar tutorial and in this, we’ll share the steps to submit a sitemap to Google. The sitemap is a structured map of your website, in which you tell the search engine to crawl & index the mentioned pages as per some options, priority & preferences. The basic purpose of the sitemap is to help Google or other search engines discover the various pages & posts of your website.
If you have a sitemap submitted to Google and the sitemap automatically adds new URLs as you update your site with new content, Google will periodically check the sitemap for changes and will automatically discover and index new URLs in the search engine results.
Once, you’ve successfully submitted your website to Google Search Console (formerly known as Webmaster Tools), the next step is to submit the sitemap of your website or blog. Before submitting the sitemap to Google, you should create it. And before creating it you should know about the different types of sitemap.
Acceptable Sitemap Formats By Google
Sitemaps can be of simple plain text format, XML format, and several other formats. You’ve to generate the sitemap in one of the accepted formats by Google.
To know more about building a sitemap for Google, consider reading this official guide. This guide highlights all the do’s and don’ts about creating the good to go and acceptable by Google kind of sitemap. For a quick reference, the XML, RSS, mRSS, and Atom 1.0, Plain Text URLs (One URL per Line) are the accepted formats.
The most preferred type is XML. Apart from just providing the information about the various URLs of the website, XML sitemaps are capable of providing search engines some extra information like crawling and update preferences as well. We should prefer this type as it provides the maximum insights of our website to Google, and the better Google will know your website, better it can index your site in the Search Engine Results.
Generating A Sitemap
Although you can manually create your sitemap, it is not at all recommended. You should always use a tool or plugin to generate sitemap accurately for you and also updated it from time to time as you make changes to your website or add new URLs or content.
If your website is built without any CMS in some custom programming language, then you’ve to find a custom solution to generate the sitemap as well.
But if you are using CMS like WordPress, the job of creating a sitemap won’t take more than a minute or two. There are a number of plugins available for self-hosted WordPress, using which you can generate a sitemap in one click. Some of the most popular plugins are mentioned below.
I recommend Yoast SEO, the reason being apart from just creating the sitemap, it also helps you to improvise your website or blog for the other important aspects of On-Page SEO as well.
- Once you’ve installed & activated Yoast SEO, Go to General Settings.
- Go to the Features Tab.
- Find the XML Sitemap Feature & Turn it to On State.
- Once you’ve turned on XML sitemaps feature, you can access the sitemap of your WordPress website at the URL,
Steps to Submit Sitemap to Google
Submitting Sitemap to Google is pretty easy. Go ahead to Google Search Console and log in with your Google account.
In the left sidebar, click on the Sitemaps option.
The Sitemaps Management Options Page will open. To add a new sitemap, enter the full sitemap URL in the Add a new sitemap section as specified by #2 in the above screenshot.
After entering the correct sitemap URL, click on the submit button. In a second or two, it will show you the status of the sitemap. In case the status is Processing or Success, you’ve successfully submitted your sitemap.
It may take time to discover all the URLs of your sitemap depending upon the number of URLs. Also, it’s not going to index the URLs immediately. It’ll take the time.
Submitting sitemap to Google is a must if you want to ensure indexing of all of your website pages in the search results. Although Google is the most popular Search Engine for even better results, you’d also submit sitemaps in the tools provided by other search engines, like Bing and Yahoo. The sitemap creating process remains the same, it’s just that the submission interface will be different.
So, that’s the tutorial on how to submit your website sitemap to Google. Hope, you found it useful and if so, do share it others who might find it useful as well. Also, feel free to ask any of your questions related to this article in the comments section below.