Sitemap Indexing

Sitemap indexing refers to the process by which search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo discover, read, and add the URLs listed within a sitemap to their respective indexes. 

A sitemap is an XML or HTML file that lists the URLs of a site with additional metadata about each URL, such as the last update, the frequency of changes, and its significance relative to other URLs. This serves as a roadmap for search engines to understand the structure of the website and prioritize crawling efforts.


Sitemaps are especially critical for the indexing of new or updated web pages, ensuring that search engines recognize and reflect changes in their search results quicker than they might through regular crawling. For websites with a large number of pages, sitemaps are essential for effective crawling and indexing.

Best practices:

  1. Create an XML sitemap following the sitemap protocol, as this is the most recognizable format for search engines.
  2. Keep your sitemap updated with the most current version of your website pages to facilitate accurate indexing.
  3. Ensure that the sitemap doesn’t list any pages blocked by the robots.txt file or pages with noindex tags, as these are meant to be excluded from search engines.
  4. Submit your sitemap through the search engine webmaster tools like Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster Tools to inform search engines of its existence and to track its status.
  5. Limit the number of URLs in a single sitemap to 50,000 and the file size to 50MB. If necessary, sitemaps can be split into multiple sitemap files and listed in a sitemap index file.
  6. Use the ‘lastmod’ tag to communicate the last modified time of the URL, helping search engines to prioritize which pages to crawl and index first.


To create a sitemap, one can use a variety of tools available online, such as sitemap generators, or manually construct it for small sites. Once created, the sitemap should be placed in the root directory of the website and accessible via “/sitemap.xml”. It should then be submitted to search engines through their respective webmaster tools for indexing.


After submission, monitor the sitemap regularly through webmaster tools to check for errors, such as URLs that search engines are unable to index. Analyze the feedback to make necessary adjustments, ensuring a high indexation rate and optimal search engine performance.


How can one monitor and optimize sitemap indexing for better SEO performance?

After submitting the sitemap, monitor it regularly through webmaster tools for errors or indexing issues. Analyze feedback to make necessary adjustments, ensuring a high indexation rate and optimal search engine performance.

What are some best practices for sitemap indexing?

Best practices for sitemap indexing include creating XML sitemaps, keeping them updated, avoiding blocked or noindexed pages, submitting sitemaps through webmaster tools, limiting URLs and file size, and using the lastmod tag to indicate last modified time.

Why is sitemap indexing important for SEO?

Sitemap indexing ensures that search engines can discover and index new or updated web pages quickly, improving the visibility and ranking of the website in search results.

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