Guide to sitemaps

Learn about sitemaps and how to integrate them into Google Search Console.
inblog Team's avatar
Mar 07, 2024
Guide to sitemaps

What is a Sitemap?

A sitemap is an XML file that contains a list of the URLs of the pages on your site. It also contains useful information such as the relationships between pages and when each page was last updated.

Sitemaps can help search engines prioritize pages of large sites, find pages that haven't been linked to, and crawl and index sites in greater detail. Without a sitemap, it can take search engines time to find your site's pages from its source code. A sitemap gives this information directly to search engines to increase indexing time and accuracy.

Individual sitemaps

The individual sitemaps are made up of items which contain information about a group of pages on your site. These items contain info such as page URLs and the last time each page was updated.

To access additional sitemaps, simply add the relevant URL path from the table in the types of sitemaps section above to the end of your domain name.

Here's an example of an inblog blog's sitemap (https://inblog.ai/blog/sitemap.xml):

An example of an Inblog sitemap

Sitemap index

The sitemap index is a list of all your individual sitemaps. Submitting this file to search engines helps them to detect and crawl each individual sitemap so that the pages can be appear in search results. For instance, when you create a new blog, Inblog automatically generate an additional sitemap for it and include it in Inblog's index, facilitating better detection and indexing of each blog and posts included.

You can view your sitemap index by adding 'sitemap.xml' to the end of your domain name in your browser's address bar. For example: https://example.com/sitemap.xml

Here's an example of what a sitemap index looks like (https://inblog.ai/sitemap.xml):

An example of a sitemap index

Sitemap items

Sitemap items contain page URLs and other relevant info like when a page was last updated.

  • <loc>: The URL of the page.

  • <lastmod>: The date that the page was last updated. This helps search engines understand if a page has changed since they last crawled it. Inblog keeps your <lastmod> date updated automatically so search engines can always get the most updated info about your site.

  • <priority>: Assigning values between 0.0~1.0 to reflect your website’s structure and the relative significance of each page within it is crucial. Inblog follows a consistent approach: assigning a value of 1.0 to blogs, as they serve as the primary entry point; assigning category pages a value of 0.9; and assigning a value of 0.8 to each individual post.

How to Add a Sitemap to Google Search Console

Important: Before you can submit your sitemap to search engines, you need to verify your ownership of your site's domain with them. Learn how to verify your domain. Learn how to verify your domain.

To submit your sitemap,

  1. Go to Google Search Console.

  2. Select your site from the drop-down.

  3. Select Sitemaps on the navigation sidebar.

  4. Enter the URL slug of the sitemap you want to submit under Add a new sitemap. For example, to submit the sitemap for your entire site, enter sitemap.xml

    add a new sitemap
  5. Click Submit.

  6. Once Google is done processing your sitemap, you’ll see a message like this:

sitemap submitted successfully message

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