Published: October 13, 2012
Edited: December 24, 2013
Back in the "good old times of SEO", you didn't need this, but now it's compulsory for running a fully functional Google-optimized website.
This is a short step-by-step guide to show your how to create a Google sitemap.
Google Sitemaps help sites get faster noticed, indexed and deeper-crawled by Google.
Oddly enough, in late 2012, only a very small percentage of sites are suing Google Sitemaps.
If you don't know how to create or use sitemaps, then check this 5-step guide to learn how! It's very easy!
Here's a screenshot of the website that we'll use:
Use the site XML Sitemaps to create your very own XML format sitemap: you must enter the URL and also set the frequency of modification (how often you add fresh content to your site - approximately) - the software will generate a sitemap (it will only generate sitemap for sites that have up to 500 pages)
Save the newly generated sitemap by copy-pasting it into Notepad and saving it as: "sitemap.xml" (alternatively you could use another name, but it's advised to use this name; the .XML format is essential, otherwise it won't work!)
Register at Google Webmaster Tools and verify your site: you will find an option there that requires site verification - follow the instructions carefully to verify that you are the owner of your site
Upload the sitemap.xml file to your site's main folder (where your site is hosted, right on the root domain) - it should be accessible through "www.yoursite.com/sitemap.xml"
Return to Google Webmaster Tools and add the sitemap. Google will periodically use the sitemap to scan your site, detect new pages. It's a good idea to refresh your sitemap once in a while.
Overall these 5 steps should do it. Otherwise the Google Webmaster Tools platform is constantly changing, so it's needless for us to explain which links to click, which sections to check out - because Google changes them constantly.
Another image - this is where you'll have to type in the URL so that it generates your the sitemap: