Site Moves and Google’s Webmaster Tools

Written by: Jason Bayless | July 12, 2017

When you move your site the first thing you need to do is follow-up by submitting the sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools. Once the validation of the site is carried out, it will be necessary to provide a sitemap to Google. The following article will tell you how to do that.

A sitemap is a file that contains a list of URLs internal to a website. It provides the search engines with information about the URLs of a website that they would not be able to discover for themselves. This file is in the XML format.

To understand what a sitemap is for, you need to understand the way search engine crawlers work. These crawlers are also known as spiders or Bots. They are utilized by firms such as Yahoo, Google, or Bing. Here are their actions when analyzing a site such as

There are several ways to do it via plug-ins. Moreover, the right plug-ins make it possible to check not only that the desired text content is indexed, but also that the images are indexed as well. However, if you have the right plug-ins already installed on a site, you do not need to install additional ones.

As mentioned above, you can choose what types of content to index. Caution, generating a sitemap does not prevent other content from being indexable. This could be the subject of a myriad of articles, because its configuration gives rise to a lot of debate.

Submitting an image sitemap increases the likelihood that your images will be indexed and therefore go up in the image search results. The sitemap for images lets you index all of your images. It also lets you provide additional information about your images. It will let you identify the most important images you want to index. It will also let you index images that would only be accessible through dynamic forms.

In addition to allowing the indexing of accessibility links, the sitemap file can be used to enrich the list of URLs with metadata like the relative importance of a URL in the website. It will let you identify the last modification date of the resource corresponding to a URL. It will also let you identify the estimated frequency of the modification of a resource.

As always, the search engines remain vague about how exactly they use the sitemaps and the information they contain. We know, at least, that search engines use the information contained on a sitemap to optimize the SEO of your website. In any case, they do not ignore these values, for example, by artificially declaring a refresh rate in the sitemap that is not respected.

On the sitemap window, you can see a pair of columns. Other URLs can be indexed, but are not necessarily counted here. In red, you will see the number of pages actually indexed from the sitemap. Those in blue indicate the number of pages of your blog or site submitted.

First of all, after submitting the sitemap, you can check if it contains any problems. You may have a problem where you have warning messages, but the sitemap seems clean. Always flush your cache. It’s not always the case that when Google shows you error messages that your sitemap still contains them. Finally, you can test it in real time by testing again.

You may have a problem where your sitemap is not recognized. The most common mistake is entering the classic sitemap.xml format. Check that you have entered the right sitemap.xml and not anything else that you have generated from your site.