Manage sitemaps with the Sitemaps page

A sitemap is a file you can make for web crawlers like Googlebot that gives them a list of web pages on your site. This file lets Google and other search engines learn the organization of your site content to more intelligently crawl your site.

You can get more information about when to use sitemaps and how to build them in the Start with the fundamentals: manage, monitor, and maintain your site section of our Help Center.

The Webmaster Tools Sitemaps page lets you make sure that Google is properly getting all the information provided in your sitemaps. The Sitemaps page displays a summary of the data Google gathered from your sitemaps, and also allows you to individually test how Google retrieves your sitemaps as you make changes to them. 

You can use the Sitemaps page to see the following information about your sitemaps:

  • The format or type of sitemap indicates if your sitemap is a standard XML file, an RSS feed, an Atom feed, a text file, or an index of other sitemaps (sitemap index).
  • The number of URLs that are included in the sitemap, and the numbers of those URLs that have been indexed by Google.
  • The total number of different content type items (web pages, images, video, and news content) in the sitemap and, of those items, the number of items indexed by Google.
  • The date of sitemap submission to Google, and the date Google processed the sitemap.

In addition, immediately when you open the Sitemaps page, you can see warnings or errors relating to each sitemap that you've previously submitted. These warnings or errors tell you how well Google is able to reach your Sitemap and that it URLs refers to. Learn more about common sitemap errors.

View the Sitemap Details page

  1. Sign into Webmaster Tools with your Google Account.
  2. On the Webmaster Tools home page, click the site for which you want to manage sitemaps.
  3. On the left-hand menu, click Crawl to expand the Crawl menu, and then click Sitemaps from the Crawl menu list.
  4. In the list of sitemaps, click the sitemap you want to examine to open the Sitemaps Details page. From this page, you can view errors, indexing statistics and more.

To find out more about how a sitemap is working and diagnose syntax errors or other problems with the sitemap itself, you can run a test by following the steps below. You can do this as a step before submitting a new sitemap, or you can test a previously submitted sitemap.

Test a sitemap

  1. Navigate to the Sitemaps page as per the first 3 steps to View the Sitemaps Details page.
  2. Click on a sitemap in the list to open the Sitemaps Details page and click Test Sitemap in the top right corner. Alternatively, if you don't see the Sitemap you're looking for, click Add/Test Sitemap on the main Sitemaps page, enter in a URL path in the textbox of the dialog that appears, and click Test.
  3. Once the test is completed, click Open Test Results to see your test results.
  4. Once you correct any issues identified by the test, you can click Resubmit to alert Google of any changes.

You can use the Sitemaps page to submit a new sitemap to Google by following the steps shown below.

Submit a sitemap to Google

  1. Navigate to the Sitemaps page as per the first 3 steps to View the Sitemaps Details page.
  2. Click the Add/Test Sitemap button.
  3. Enter a URL path into the textbox that appears in the Submit dialog to lead Google to the location of your sitemap.
  4. Click Submit.
  5. Refresh your browser to see your new sitemap in the sitemaps list.
  6. Click on your new sitemap in the list of sitemaps on the Sitemaps page to open the Sitemaps Details page and investigate any current errors or potential warnings Google encountered reaching your sitemap or the URLs included in it.

Once you submit your sitemap, it can take some time before Google processes it. After your sitemap has been processed, it can take more time before Google can crawl and index the URLs included in your sitemap; although, Google can't promise to crawl every URL in your sitemap, or index every crawled URL because we rely complex algorithms to make crawling decisions.

You can also delete a sitemap from your account so that it no longer appears in Webmaster Tools; however, Google might continue to retrieve your sitemap data until you remove the sitemap file from your webserver. If you want to keep the sitemap on your server for use by other search engines, you can use URL blocking methods, such as a robots.txt file, to prevent Google from accessing your sitemap.

Delete a sitemap from your Webmaster Tools account:

  1. On the Webmaster Tools Home page, click the site for which you want to remove a sitemap.
  2. Click Crawl in the left-hand dashboard, and then click Sitemaps from the sub-menu.
  3. Select the checkbox next to the sitemap(s) that you want to remove from Webmaster Tools, and then click Delete selected.

NEXT: DIAGNOSE PROBLEMS SUBMITTING A SITEMAP

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