Sitemap is a structural mapping or path recorder of all the pages of a website. It is the hierarchical representation of pages optimized for search engine crawlers or bots. A sitemap helps search engines to crawl updated pages and newly created pages in faster way. Having a sitemap is considered great in terms of Search Engine Optimization though search engines like Google does not crawl through all the items listed in the sitemap. Read this article to know more about sitemaps. In this post, I will show steps to add XML sitemaps in Google Console.
HTML Sitemap consists of all the pages links inside a website that is much more readable by end –users (human surfing the web). XML Sitemap lists all the pages like a HTML Sitemap but with different coding standard. It is intended for web crawlers and contains additional meta information like priority of pages, update frequency, last update date etc. These meta information are valuable sources for search engine bots.
Importance of XML Sitemap
- An XML Sitemap boosts website in terms of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It helps search engines to find all the inner pages of website in a more faster and ordered way.
- If a website internal links are not well coded, XML Sitemap help to interlink one page to other thereby making the website more visible to search engines.
- If the website is dynamic and updated regularly, an XML Sitemap may be beneficial to update the pages in the sitemap list as soon as the contents get updated.
Why Google needs XML Sitemap:
Google expects sitemap for some specific reasons:
- If the site is newly launched and is not fully indexed, Googlebot needs XML Sitemap to crawl pages from one page to other with rich set of links.
- If the site contains archive of contents that are not strongly bonded to each other, Google expects sitemap with inter-links to pages to go through these pages easily.
- Through an XML Sitemap, Google can be informed about meta data like mobile contents with videos and images.
Steps to Add XML Sitemaps in Google Console
As webmasters create and submit the XML Sitemap, Googlebot read these links intelligently and go through the links in each page with associated metadata. For crawling these pages, Googlebot relies upon various complex algorithms.
How to add XML Sitemap in Google Console?
After creating the XML Sitemap using any online XML Sitemap Generator, it can be added to Google search console using following steps:
Step 1. Go to Google Webmaster Tools. On homepage, select the website. Let’s say, www.yoursite.com.
Step 2. On the Dashboard, there exists sections like Crawl Errors, Search Analytics, Sitemaps. Click on the Sitemaps link.
Step 4. Then on the new box, add the Sitemap URL (like sitemap.xml). For eg: add www.yoursite.com/sitemap.xml and click TEST button. Then as the test completes, click on the button View test results. As the test results OK, Close test. Again click on ADD/TEST SITEMAP and add the Sitemap URL (like sitemap.xml) and finally click on Submit button.
This will add the XML Sitemap to the Google Console and Google will start crawling and indexing the URLs after some time.
Dhiraj Bikram Khadka
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