How to Submit an XML Sitemap to Google Search Console

Why Submit an XML Sitemap

It’s a good idea to submit your XML sitemap to Google so that they can better crawl your site.  They can still crawl without it, but this gives them much better guidance.

What You Need to Get Started

  • A Google Search Console account.  Google Search Console was previously called Google Webmaster Tools.
  • A verified domain.  Here’s how to get verified (instructions from Google). Make  sure to verify both the www and non-www versions of your domain.

Submitting Your XML Sitemap

I cover steps 1-4 in the post How to Fetch As Google(bot) and Submit Your Site to Google, so I’ll summarize them here, but click over to that post for details.

1. Log in to Google Search Console

2. Enter Your Email Address

3. Enter Your Password

4. Select Your Website URL

 
Now you are ready to start the steps in this post:

5. Navigate to Crawl -> Sitemaps

Use the navigation on the left side to select the arrow next to Crawl, then the option Sitemaps will reveal.

Click on Sitemaps.

Click on the ADD/TEST SITEMAP buttonwhich is located in the top right corner.

GSC navigate to sitemaps
[Click on any image for a larger version]

6. Tell Google Search Console the URL of Your XML Sitemap

Complete the box that asks for the URL of your sitemap and then click Test.

If you are using the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress, you’ll enter /sitemap_index.xml into the box.
GSC test sitemap

7. View Your Test Result

Near the top of your screen, a yellow bar will appear, with a button.

Click View test result on the yellow bar.

GSC view test result for sitemap

8. Check for Errors

Make sure you don’t have any errors in the test results. If you do, resolve these, then go back to Step 5 in this blog post.

If you don’t have any errors, click Close test to continue.

GSC check for errors close test

9. Submit Your Sitemap

Currently, there is no way to submit your sitemap from the test results screen, like you probably want to!

Click on ADD/TEST Sitemap again.

Complete the URL of your XML sitemap again.

Click the Submit button.
GSC add sitemap and submit

10. Refresh the Page

Another yellow bar will appear, telling you that your sitemap has been submitted.

On the yellow bar, click the Refresh the page link.

GSC click refresh the page

11. Check for and Resolve any Warnings

If you have warnings, click on them to see what they are.

The most common warning I see is that the server is slow to respond. This is usually temporary and may go away if you re-submit later.

Resolve any warnings.

Under the headings Submitted and Indexed, you’ll likely see the word Pending.

GSC check warnings and submitted

12. Check Back in a Few Minutes

Pending and indexed will update to show the number of items submitted and indexed.

Warming! This could take much longer than a few minutes.

You’re done!
GSC check submitted and indexed

Other Things You Might Want to Do in Google Search Console

Now that you know your way around a little bit, here are a few areas to explore in Google Search Console.  There are many more, but this is a good way to get started with viewing information from Google and submitting any new changes on your site to them.

  1. Check to see if your site has been penalized under Search Traffic -> Manual Actions
  2. Check for Crawl Errors (like 404/Page Not Found or other errors) under Crawl -> Crawl Errors.
  3. Submit any new URLs or existing URLs with content changes to Google using the Fetch as Google feature.

2 Comments

  1. sandeep on April 8, 2018 at 1:20 am

    Awesome information….Great

  2. Marianne on August 21, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Very helpful!

Leave a Comment