S03 - Sitemap Not Found

Alert Properties Alert Description
Alert Name Sitemap not found
Code S03
Description The Website does not include sitemap.xml for optimal interaction with Google bots
Level Error

What is a sitemap?

A sitemap is a file where you provide information about the pages, videos, and other files on your site, along with their inter-connected relationships. Search engines like Google parse these files to crawl the website intelligently. A sitemap tells search engines the pages and files that you deem important and then provides valuable information about these files. For example, it stores information on webpages, when they were last updated, how often they are changed, and a record of its alternate language versions.

A good XML sitemap acts as a road map of your website that leads Google to the important content within your site. XML sitemaps are good for SEO, as they allow Google to quickly find essential pages and information about the site.

You can use a sitemap to provide information about specific types of content on your pages, including video and image content. For example:

  • A sitemap video entry can specify the video running time, category, and age-appropriate rating for accessing the site.
  • A sitemap image entry can include image subject matter, type, and license.

Search engines like Google can discover a site’s content efficiently if the pages are properly linked to each other. A sitemap can drastically improve the crawling of the search engine bots within complex and specialized sites that have a huge hierarchy of pages.

When is a sitemap helpful for search engines?

  • A sitemap is useful if your site is unusually large.
  • It is helpful if your site retains a large archive of independent content pages that are not well-linked to each other.
  • Your site is new and has few external links to it.

For more information on the sitemap, check this article Manage your sitemaps

Note: Make your sitemap available to Google by adding it to your robots.txt file or by directly submitting it to Search Console.

Sitemap format & guidelines (Google standards)

Note: Make sure every single sitemap has max limit of 50MB (uncompressed) and 50,000 URLs. If you have a larger file or more URLs, you will have to break your list into multiple sitemaps. You can optionally create a sitemap index file (a file that points to a list of sitemaps) and submit that single index file to Google. You can also submit multiple sitemaps and/or sitemap index files to Google.

Tools to generate a sitemap

  • Check out this article sitemap-generators, and choose a tool that fits in for your needs.