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Adding a Sitemap to Google – WordPress

What is a sitemap?

A sitemap is a file where you can list the web pages of your site to tell Google and other search engines about the organization of your site content. Search engine web crawlers like Googlebot read this file to more intelligently crawl your site.

Also, your sitemap can provide valuable metadata associated with the pages you list in that sitemap: Metadata is information about a webpage, such as when the page was last updated, how often the page is changed, and the importance of the page relative to other URLs in the site.


Do you need a sitemap?

Most bloggers need a sitemap because:

  • blogs can get fairly large (in which case the crawlers might overlook some pages)
  • most blog content is not internally linked throughout the site (sitemaps can ensure that Google doesn't overlook pages)
  • some blogs are new and have few external links (Googlebot and other crawlers crawl the web based on other links – newer blogs might not have links pointed to them – therefore it could be a while before it gets crawled)

You will want to have the Yoast SEO plugin for this.

UPDATED 3/18 due to Yoast plugin update.

In the backend of WordPress:

  • Click on SEO (Yoast) and General.
  • Click on the Features tab.
  • Toggle the ‘XML Sitemaps' switch to ‘On'.
  • Click ‘Save Changes' to activate XML Sitemaps.

Go to Google Search Console.

Click on Sitemaps.

Click on Add/Test Sitemap.

Add sitemap_index.xml in the box provided.

Click TEST.

If test successful, repeat clicking on SUBMIT instead of TEST.