Google Sitemaps general information

Some general questions and answers about Google Sitemaps.

What is a Google Sitemap?

A Google Sitemap is a file which contains the URLs of all your public pages and other files on your website. Google can read this file and use it to help crawl your site in an optimal way. A Google Sitemap file does not guarantee that your URLs will be crawled or that they will be included in the index.

How can I create Google Sitemap for my website?

There are three ways to generate a Google Sitemap file - they can be combined or used alone, it all depends on your site.

  1. If your site is full database-based, you can generate the Sitemap file directly from the basis of your database. There are plugs for many sites, including forums, blogs and shops to help you with this. If you can do this, it is usually the best way to generate a Google Sitemap file (but it requires changes on your server, new software and / or settings).
  2. All websites can be crawled. The GSiteCrawler is a crawler for websites. It checks all pages it finds and searches for URLs that are linked from that page and generates a Google Sitemap file from there. By crawling you can also find problems with your website that other search engines would also have. If you do not have direct database access, this is the best way to generate Google Sitemap files.
  3. Some websites can be best mapped based on visitor data. This is mainly the case with sites where the visitor can influence the content directly through a URL, eg search-sites that react to the search-queries that users make. This method can only function together with one of the other two methods since you cannot be sure that users will visit all pages and new pages are only listed once they are found by users (versus when they are actually created).

You can find other tools to generate Google Sitemap files at the the list of third party programs at

Do I need a Google Account to use Google Sitemaps?

Yes. A Google Account is required to use Google Sitemaps. Verifying your website ownership is optional though.

Can Google Sitemaps affect my ranking?

Google explicitly wrote that a Google Sitemap will not affect your websites ranking. However, the better Google can crawl your website (based on your Google Sitemap file), the faster your new and changed pages may appear in Googles index - and that can definitely have an influence on your ranking.

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