Posted by BlueSEO on March 5th, 2010
Creating and submitting an xml sitemap to Google is an extremely important step that is often overlooked by novice webmasters. If you have a small business website (under 500 pages), here is an extremely simple way to submit your xml sitemap and get Google crawling and indexing your pages:
1) Visit xml-sitemaps.com and input the same settings as the screenshot below. Click the “Start” button and wait a few seconds to a few minutes for your sitemap to finish building. Once built, click “Download un-compressed XML Sitemap” and save your the sitemap.xml file to your desktop.
2) Visit Google Webmaster Tools and create a webmaster tools account using your preferred email or Gmail account
3) Login to your Webmaster Tools account and click the “Add a Site” button on the bottom of your screen
4) Next Google will ask you to verify ownership of your website. Select “Upload an HTML File” from the drop-down menu. Don’t click verify… yet. Click where it says “Download this HTML verification file” and save the file to your desktop.
5) Using a Free FTP program such as Coffee Cup (Cyberduck if you are on a Mac), upload the xml file (in this case the file is named googlef8755faedfb09a5a.html) from your desktop to the root web folder as shown below (Typically public_html but it may be called www or httpdocs). You should also upload the sitemap.xml file that you created earlier to the same folder.
If you have trouble connecting to your server, make sure it has been added to the program and that your settings are correct (worst case check with the hosting company for login credentials).
6) Once your xml file is uploaded, go back to the Webmaster Tools control panel and click the button to “Verify“.
7) The next screen should be your site dashboard. Scroll down to the bottom right of your screen and click on “Submit a Sitemap“. From the Sitemaps page click the “Submit a Sitemap” button and add the location of your sitemap, which should be sitemap.xml unless you renamed the xml file. Click “Submit a Sitemap” one final time and you are done.
8) Log back into your Webmaster Tools account in about one week to make sure your site has been indexed by Google. This should be ample time for Google to visit, but it may take longer. You will know that your pages have been picked up when you visit your site’s dashboard. Check the sitemap area to see how many pages were indexed.
Posted in: Webmastering Basics