How to submit a sitemap to Google

How to Submit a Sitemap to Google and Rank Your Site

If you are running a website, you need to know how to submit a sitemap to Google and other search engines. A sitemap is required for search engines to understand and index the content on your site. Thereafter, search engines like Google can appropriately list them in the search results.
In this post, we will discuss the sitemaps and ways to submit them to search engines.

How to submit a sitemap to Google

How to submit a sitemap to Google?

Before submitting a sitemap to Google, let’s understand what a sitemap is.

What is a sitemap?

A sitemap is a file where we put URLs of a site’s web pages. The sitemap file is meant to help search engines and web crawlers so that they can easily find a site’s content.
In other words, search engines like Google are easily able to crawl and index your site’s content. It helps the content to appear in search ranking.
The sitemap file is typically placed in the root directory of a website. It has to be publicly available online. Moreover, a webmaster can name the sitemap file anything.
Now, consider the example of my website’s sitemap. It is publicly available at

Sitemap of
XML sitemap of

Here, the XML sitemap (the main sitemap file) contains three sitemaps – post-sitemap.xml, page-sitemap.xml, and category-sitemap.xml.
Similarly, you can have an image sitemap, video sitemap, or any other sitemap.
A sitemap tells search engines about the details (metadata) of content on a site. For example, for pages, it tells when the page was last updated, how often the page is modified, and any other version of the language of that page.
Moreover, a sitemap provides information about various content on your pages, including image and video content. For instance:

  • Video entry in the sitemap can specify video category, running time, and age-appropriateness rating.
  • Image entry in the sitemap can have image type, subject matter, and license.

Who needs a sitemap?

You will need a sitemap in the following cases:

  • You own a very large site. In that case, web crawlers may overlook the newly created or updated content.
  • Your site has many pages that are not linked to each other. There are chances for these pages of getting overlooked by Google. To avoid this situation, ensure listing all page URLs in the sitemap.
  • You have a site that is new and has very few external links to it. Web crawlers including Google crawlers discover a page by following links from one page to other. If some of your web pages have no external links, then they may be overlooked.

Types of sitemap formats

Following types of sitemap formats are supported by Google and other search engines:

  • XML
  • Text
  • RSS, mRSS, and Atom 1.0

Below is the example of a basic XML sitemap with the location of a single URL:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<urlset xmlns="">

Note: Above example is from

If you want to see more complex examples, see the full documentation at

How to build a sitemap?

You can follow the below mentioned steps to build a sitemap:

  • Decide the format of the sitemap. The XML format is commonly used.
  • You can manually create a sitemap by referring to sites like Then, validate the sitemap using a third-party tool like XML Sitemap Validator.
  • Or, install an SEO Plugin, like Yoast SEO that will automatically create a sitemap on your site.

How to submit a sitemap to Google?

  • Go to your Google Search Console.
  • Select the correct URL of your website from your listed properties. For example, my website URL is So, other URL(s) like, or are different URL(s) and must not be selected.
  • On the left side pane, click sitemaps. Place the last part of your sitemap URL in the blank space. For example, my sitemap URL is and I will have to paste sitemap_index.xml in the blank space.
Google Search Console for submitting a sitemap
Google Search Console for submitting the sitemap

If you do not want to submit the sitemap to Google Search Console, you can place all the sitemap files in the robots.txt file. As all the web crawlers read the robots.txt file, they will read the sitemap files and crawl your desired site content for indexing.

robots.txt file of
Image of robots.txt file showing sitemap entries.

Precautions while creating a sitemap file

  • Break a large sitemap into smaller sitemaps. You can keep up to 50,000 URLs in a sitemap. Moreover, its size should not exceed 50MB uncompressed. You should use a sitemap index file to house all the individual sitemaps and then submit this file to Google. So, there is no need to submit individual sitemaps.
  • Your sitemaps should have only canonical URLs. In case, your site has two versions of a page, then you should list in the sitemap the page you want to appear in search results. Consider this example: if your site has two versions – www and non-www, then decide your preferred site and place the sitemap there.
  • For pointing to additional media types like images, video, and news, use sitemap extensions.
  • You must use UTF-8 encoding for sitemap files.

You can learn more about sitemaps in the documentation at Google Search Central.

Winding up on “How to submit a sitemap to Google”

The above process has been discussed to help and new bloggers who may not be aware of a sitemap. We have taken the easiest route to build and submit a sitemap to Google.
You can use the same process to submit a sitemap to other search engines and reap the benefits.

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