Update Sitemap FAQs: Your Questions Answered

After creating and summiting your sitemap, updating sitemap is important because you want all of your new webpages to be found by search engines as soon as they’re live on your website. However, I have many questions in my mind when it comes to updating sitemap. I listed all of them below and collect answers for them.

Let’s check them.

1.    How to update your sitemap.xml file for Google?

The simplest way to submit your new and updated URLs is to verify your site ownership on Search Console. After you verify, use the Sitemaps report to see which sitemaps were processed for your site, any processing errors, or to submit a new sitemap for your site. 

  1. Sign into Google Search Console.
  2. Add Your Domain into the Blank Field.
  3. Click “Continue” to Verify Ownership.
  4. Under “Index,” Click “Sitemaps.”
  5. Enter the URL for Your Sitemap.
  6. Click “Submit.”

2.    How often should you update your sitemap?

You should update the XML sitemap anytime you add a new page, and then go to Google Search Console and re-submit that sitemap, so that Google quickly identifies you as the originator of that content.

3.    Is it mandatory to submit your XML sitemap to Google Search Console?

No, it is not mandatory to summit your XML sitemap to Google Search Console.

Search engines automatically rescan your website to look for new content and pages, but submitting it to Google or Bing directly can speed up the process and help those pages get indexed and seen by search engine users faster.

Generally, search engines crawl big websites much more frequently than some small websites. Also, if you update your website more frequently, search engines may scan your website more frequently, too.

Also, if you are making a lot of changes to URLs in a short amount of time, such as with a website redesign or redevelopment, you can help Google get those changes faster by submitting a temporary sitemap that contains all of your original pages that redirect to their new location.

4.    When I add new contents is my sitemap updated automatically?

Yes, the sitemap is updated automatically when new contents are added to your components, and search engines will be able to fetch updated information automatically. The only exception is that you are using a cache system, in such case obviously you need to refresh the cache.

5.    Does Yoast SEO plugin automatically update the sitemap in WordPress?

The Yoast plugins create sitemaps on the fly. This means sitemaps are updated automatically when you add, edit, or delete content. Therefore, there is no need to generate or rebuild the sitemaps in most cases. However, if you have modified content or added developer filters, you may need to force an update.

6.    What is Changefreq in Sitemap?

According to Google, the Changefreq XML tag may be set to one of seven frequencies:

  • never
  • yearly
  • monthly
  • weekly
  • daily
  • hourly
  • always

This tells the search engines approximately how often each page is updated. An update refers to actual changes to the HTML code or text of the page, not updated Flash content or modified images.

Changefreq Guidelines & Examples

  • NEVER: Old news stories, press releases, etc.
  • YEARLY: Contact, “About Us”, login, registration pages
  • MONTHLY: FAQs, instructions, occasionally updated articles
  • WEEKLY: Product info pages, website directories
  • DAILY: Blog entry index, classifieds, small message board
  • HOURLY: Major news site, weather information, forum
  • ALWAYS: Stock market data, social bookmarking categories

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