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How-to 5 min read September 5, 2019

How to add an XML sitemap to webmaster panel

An XML sitemap helps search crawler to get information about the Web site structure, page hierarchy, priority scan, and so on. To speed up the receipt of this card by Google, it is downloaded through the Search Console.
A site map is one of the main documents that a site should contain. It helps in SEO website promotion, clearly demonstrating to the search engine page hierarchy, importance, and so on. In short, this is a directory of your site.

Of course, sanctions or pessimization does not occur in the absence of a card, but remember that the machine may not work correctly, not detect a number of documents. The file is created in XML format by itself and stored in the root folder. Sometimes they also create similar maps for the convenience of users of the site.

XML sitemap for Google

Creating a sitemap for Google is important for the site to crawl correctly. To add a sitemap, log in to the panel Google Search Console and find the "Sitemaps" section on the left side menu, as shown in the screenshot:
Adding a sitemap to the Google Search Console
In the active field, paste the XML link. Next, you will need to wait for the check, the status of which is indicated in the table below. The old version of the webmaster's account included an internal online test. Therefore, if you need to check the activity of the card, the old version may come in handy.
Check sitemap in Google Sitemap XML
Moving to the old version, find the "Scan" section in the left menu, expand it and select "Sitemap" from the list, as shown in the screenshot above. In the upper right corner, you can both add a sitemap to Google and test it.

Please note: you need to not only add a sitemap to Google Search Console but also duplicate the link to it in the root robots.txt file.

Among the main recommendations related to the map, you should consider:
1
The syntax used must be respected, especially with regard to URL addresses. Any typo or error will prevent the robot from properly scanning according to published XML.
2
Never write session identifiers in the added URLs, because the robot will waste the crawling budget. When the time comes for important pages, your budget may run out.
3
To show the search engine that your site has several language versions, use the special attribute hreflang.
4
The encoding that should be preferred is UTF-8; this will help to avoid a number of errors.
5
If you need to download a large map that exceeds the volume of 50,000 Internet addresses, use several maps, and do not try to fill the entire mass at the time. It is better to create a parent map that will contain links to other maps of the web site.
6
For images, videos, and news, you can create separate maps that enhance data scanning.
7
Follow the recommendations related to the canonization of Internet addresses in order to use current methods for specifying the domain version, for example, when the site is accessible with and without www.
8
If the Internet addresses of the main version of the web resource and its mobile version are different, one of them should be indicated. If you still need to add both versions, create annotations that will help the crawlers recognize them.
9
Observe the encoding: XML may include ASCII characters without regard to extended characters, such as "*" or "{}". Otherwise, you will receive an error message.

Conclusion

Sitemap.xml is a file that tells search bots about the structure existing on the web site. In order to speed up the fall of this file into the hands of Yandex or Google, use the webmaster panel in the case of Yandex or Search Console for Google.

For Google, the algorithm will be as follows:

  • if you are using an old version of the console, you can test it before loading the map;
  • specify the path to XML by going to "Sitemaps" in the left menu;
  • expect confirmation and follow the status shown in the table on the same page.

This article is a part of Serpstat's Checklist tool
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