How to Submit A Sitemap to Google Search Console
The fastest way to let Google know that your site has a new page is by specifying the URLs in a container list known as the XML sitemap. Submitting a sitemap to Google Search Console enables Google web crawlers to get detailed information about what URLs you want on display on its search reults.
In this article, I will describe what XML sitemap means and why it is necessary to create one for your site. In addition, I will demonstrate how it can be uploaded to either Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster Tools.
What is an XML sitemap?
An XML Sitemap is a text editor file which has an extension of xml. It is basically used to provide web crawlers with information about the organisation of a website and how it should be crawled. The information contained in the sitemap are list of URLs on the site.
With sitemap, site owner can provide value on the frequency of update to each page on the site; set the order of importance for the web pages; specified last modification date and time.
Is it necessary to submit a sitemap?
The answer to this is YES. Submitting a sitemap will improve the way your site is being crawled by web bots. Basically, sitemap is used for improving the process of indexing a site URLs on search engine platforms.
If your site is new, this is a quick step to getting your site to appear on search engines. In simple explanation, you are specifying to web bots saying ‘Hey, these are list of URLs I want you to index.’
How to submit a sitemap
Depending on which platform you are working on, submitting a sitemap varies. When creating the file, make sure that the XML tags specified are compatible with the search engine you are submitting on.
On Google Search Console, submitting a sitemap is easy. All you need to do is follow the 2 major steps outlined below.
1. Create a sitemap
You can do this either manually or by using online sitemap generator.
First option: manually add the URLs of your site which you want Google to index. To do this, open a text editor, then copy and paste your site URLs into the editor. When finished, save the file as sitemap, with the extension xml. This extension is what tells crawlers that the file contains list of web pages.
Use this Sitemaps XML format to properly organise and set the right format for mapping a site.
Second option: you can use third party platforms to generate the sitemap for your site. Visit the list of suggested third parties by Google. After generating the sitemap, download and save the file to your computer.
Next, login to your control panel and upload the file to the root directory. In my case, I will be using cPanel.
This step is different for CMS users. To generate a sitemap, use the backend of your site. Download and activate the necessary plugin (Yoast or other). Use the plugin to generate the sitemap. When you are done, follow the second step.
2. Submit the sitemap to Google Search Console
To get started, login to Google Search Console. At this point, I will assume that you have already added your site to the Console. If not, checkout How to Add A Website to Google Search Console (Webmaster).
For Yoast plugin users, click on this link and follow the process provided.
Next, choose the URL you want to submit sitemap for. If your site has the same URL for all protocols (http:// and https://), you can submit one file for all.
While on the dashboard, click on crawl, sitemap, then on ADD/TEST SITEMAP.
Inside the box right next to your domain name, type in sitemap.xml, click submit and refresh the page.
If your sitemap is submitted correctly, you should get this page. Otherwise, it will display an error.
Sitemap submission is completed at this stage.
What next? You have to wait for Google to index your pages. Though there are chances your site will be crawled, there is no guarantee the URLs will be indexed after submission. This is just a tool for showcasing your web presence to search engines.
Need any assistance? Do not hesitate to contact me.
This article was first posted on this web page.