Thursday, February 19, 2009

Submit Your Blogspot Blog Sitemap to Google

I often see questions from beginner bloggers in forums about adding a sitemap of their Blogspot blog to Google. This is surprisingly easy to do although there is virtually no documentation about how to go about it. That's why I have written this tutorial with the beginner blogger in mind. It provides a set of simple step by step instructions to guide you through the process of adding a sitemap to Google. By following this tutorial you will have your Blogspot sitemap added to Google in less than 5 minutes flat.

Why Add a Sitemap to Google?
As Google owns the Blogger.com platform most sites are indexed by Google automatically. However, you might find as I have done that this process doesn't always run as smoothly or as quickly as you might like. Manually adding a sitemap to Google has some distinct advantages:

More likely to have timely indexing of your blog

More likely that all URLs on your site will be accessed

More frequent updating of your blog index in response to new posts

Increase in site traffic as a result of all your pages being indexed


Step by Step Guide to Adding Sitemap to Google
Follow this step by step walkthrough of how to add a sitemap to Google to your Blogspot Blog and begin enjoying the benefits.

1. Sign in to Google Webmaster Tools
Once set up this site will give you detailed analysis about how Google indexes your blog. Best way to get to Google Webmaster tools is to click on My Account on the Blogger Navbar and then choose Google Webmaster Tools from the list.

2. Navigate to the Webmaster Tools Dashboard
Directly below the word "Dashboard" in the top lefthand corner you will see the option to add a site. Click once inside the box to remove the default text. Now enter the full URL of your site in the box including the prefix http:// and click on the "Add Site" button. For example to add this site "blogknowhow" you would enter http://blogknowhow.blogspot.com/

3. Navigate to Webmaster Tools Overview
If all is going well you will now see your site in a list below the "Add Site" box. Click on your site in the list and you will be taken to "Dashboard>>Overview." It is easy to check you are in the right place as your site name will be listed in blue below the word "Overview".

In the overview menu you will find details about Google's current indexing of your site. If Google hasn't indexed your site yet you will see the message "No pages from your site are currently included in Google's index" displayed. Alternatively if Google has already discovered your site then you will get the following message "Googlebot has successfully accessed your home page" and "Pages from your site are included in Google's index."

4. Select Method of Verifying Your Site
Whether the pages of your site have been indexed or not you will be asked to click on the "Verify Your Site" link in the yellow box. At this point you will be given 2 options: one to verify your site by uploading an HTML file and the other by inserting a meta tag into the HTML coding on your site. As you do not have access to the server on Blogspot you will need to choose the second option. To do this select "add a meta tag" in the dropdown menu entitled "Choose Verification Method."

Immediately you make your choice you will be presented with a couple of lines of text which you will need to copy to the clipboard of your computer.

5. Go to Blogger Layout Tab of Your Site in a New Window
In another window open Blogger and sign in if you are not already signed in. From the Dashboard navigate to the "Layout" menu of your blog by clicking on the Layout tab. If you have created more than one blog make sure that you click on the appropriate title of your blog.

6. Edit the Template of Your Blog in Blogger
In the Layout menu follow the “Edit HTML” link (third from left under the Layout tab). At this point you need to search through the coding in the template for the first "Head" tag. This will be somewhere between line 7 and 10 from the top. Once you have located the correct spot paste the code for the metatag you created in Step 4 directly into the template taking care not to overwrite any existing code. Click on the "Save Template" button to update your blog.

If you wish to err on the side of caution you might consider backing up your template before you make any changes to it however as long as you are careful this precaution is probably not necessary.

Blogger Layout Edit HTML menu

8. Return to Webmaster Tools and Verify Site
Once you have saved the changes to your template return to Webmaster Tools and click on the "Verify" button at the bottom of the page in the "Dashboard>>Verify a Site" screen. You will then receive coonfirmation from Google that your site has been verified.

9. Navigate to Sitemaps in Webmaster Tools
Once your site is verified you can now move on to adding your sitemap. To do this navigate to Sitemaps by following the "Sitemaps" link in the sidemenu. This will take you to "Dashboard >> Sitemaps" where you will see a box with the URL of your site already added. Next to the box will be a button labelled "Submit Sitemap."

10. Add Sitemap in Webmaster Tools
As your blog was created in Blogspot we are going to make use of the rss or atom feed. Either can be used for this purpose.

On the Sitemaps page in Webmaster Tools type either atom.xml or rss.xml into the box provided to extend the displayed URL and click on the "Submit Sitemap" button. Using the same example as before http://blogknowhow.blogspot.com/ becomes either

http://blogknowhow.blogspot.com/atom.xml
or
http://blogknowhow.blogspot.com/rss.xml

All going well Google will then display a message indicating that your sitemap submission is pending. It can take some hours for your sitemap to be fully updated by Google. At that point you will be able to see the number of URLs identified by Google and the time of the last download. This is useful information as it will help you keep tabs on your for your Blogger.com blog site and identify any URLs that may be being missed. Now that you have your sitemap in place you can look forward to increased traffic as more visitors will now be able to find your site.

Google Webmaster Tools Sitemaps


Read This If Your Feed is Being Redirected
If you are redirecting your feed because you are using Feedburner for example you will need to add a query parameter to stop the redirect so that it will act as a sitemap.

Therefore instead of adding atom.xml you will need to add atom.xml?redirect=false to the site URL in the "Submit Sitemap" box. Thus http://blogknowhow.blogspot.com/atom.xml becomes http://blogknowhow.blogspot.com/atom.xml?redirect=false

If you have a lot of posts it would be worth your while adding the following parameter to have all your posts included:
atom.xml?redirect=false&start-index=1&max-results=100

In the above example Google will index your first 100 posts. If you have more than 100 posts you can create another sitemap in which case you would start your index at 101 instead of 1.

This tutorial has guided you through the process of authenticating your Blogger blog at Google Webmaster and adding a sitemap to ensure better crawling and indexing of your website.



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52 comments:

Laura said...

Gosh! thank you i have been trying to figure this stupid thing out for hours. Thanks for thinking about the computer illiterate :)

The Wizz said...

Thanks for your kind words. I know how frustrating it is not to be able to figure something out and even when you look up how to do it you can't make head or tail of the solutions.

Online banking tips said...

Thanks to share with us. It is helpful to newbie.

The Wizz said...

Glad to hear that my blog is helping all the newbies out there. Blogger can be a pretty steep learning curve at first

MP3 Free Software Downloads said...

I was getting site map errors with just appending rss.xml and atom.xml. This is because I had directed feeds to the new google. feedburner, from the old feedburner, but I think initial errors were from having the flash player/Amazon images loading. But appending your redirect code has made site map submission successful - at last. Many thanks Wizz!

The Wizz said...

Great to hear that you found the solution to your problem here. Hopefully you remembered to bookmark this blog so you can call back again sometime :-)

MP3 Free Software Downloads said...

I certainly have book marked your blog, and read several of your informative posts. Because I am active in several forums, I will link to your blog whenever relevant. If your blog was named Blogger Tips or similar, I would have easily found your blog much earlier through the search engines...

The Wizz said...

Good point about naming blogs. I would have liked to have blogger in my blog name but I couldn't find a suitable Blogger name that wasn't already taken. Thanks for you support. I appreciate it.

Nature-Photography said...

Thank you very much...it's indeed extremely helpful for people like us without much experience..!

The Wizz said...

Glad this blog is working for you. Hope you will use it as a resource for other issues that crop up. Always happy to answer questions raised about Blogger.

Traverus Travel said...

Thanks so much! It really helped me alot

The Wizz said...

Thanks. Hope you will keep checking back soon as I am adding new articles all the time.

Marky said...

Thank you so much!

"atom.xml?redirect=false" --- Will this not affect my FeedBurner RSS URL? I am using FeedBurner.

But, I have followed your instructions and I did it. Hehe.LOL. Thanks

The Wizz said...

Marky redirect will be fine as essentially it is saying ignore the fact the feed has been redirected. Any problems just ask.

JamesSurvivalGuide said...

Amazing useful post! You're a real asset to this community. I mean that. Thanks. jamessurvivalguide.blogspot.com

The Wizz said...

Wow! What a fabulous expression of appreciation JamesSurvivalGuide. Thanks for your kind words and your support.

Soumya said...

Our good comments are our liking 4 u. your tips immensely help us. carry on guiding us buddy. God bless you.

The Wizz said...

Thanks for your visit and supportive comments Soumya

arunenigma said...

amazing article....very useful.....u rock man

The Wizz said...

Thanks arunenigma. Glad this article about Google helped you

Terence said...

Hi Wizz,

Why is it necessary to limit the feed sitemap to 100 urls? Also, I just bought a custom domain direct from blogger, I realize I need to submit new sitemaps for mydomain.com. Do I have to submit a sitemap each for mydomain.com and www.mydomain.com? or is it redundant. Also, after my site comes out of 3 day transition period, I can now delete my www.myblog.blogspot.com sitemap? Thanks Wizz!

The Wizz said...

Hi Terence. Thanks for your queries. It actually isn't mandatory to set sitemap to 100 urls as far as I know. If you have many posts you could set it for 200 for instance by inserting:

atom.xml?redirect=false&start-index=1&max-results=200

I have found with my custom domains that setting no preferred domain works best. Go to Webmaster Tools and under Site Configuration > Settings enable no preferred domain. One sitemap only needed.

If you delete the sitemap your indexed URLs won't disappear straight away. I wouldn't change too much until I was sure that there were no problems with the transition. Also I suggest you export your blog before you do anything in case something goes wrong and you have to reinstate it. Good Luck!

frugalita said...

Thanks for this! I've been searching for something like this for ages. It's easy when you know how!

The Wizz said...

You're welcome frugalita. Most of the hard work is done now as Google verifies your blog automatically in most cases

Alexandra Orton said...

Wonderfully written! Thank you!

The Wizz said...

Thanks Alexandra. Hope you will stop by again

JOHEALTHYDIET said...

IT is great, very easy to follow, you are amazing, Thanks

The Wizz said...

Glad you are getting lots of help from my blog Joheal. Thanks for your feedback

Terence Chan said...

Hi wizz, thanks for answering questions. I already have 101 posts. I already submitted a sitemap before using the parameters for max 100 posts and index starting at one. from what i understand i should resubmit another sitemap with this extension:atom.xml?redirect=false&start-index=101&max-results=100? the new posts will thus be indexed through this feed?

The Wizz said...

Hi ya Terence. I suggest you don't worry about the other sitemaps you have submitted at this stage as you can always delete them later. Just submit a new one:

atom.xml?redirect=false&start-index=101&max-results=100

The reason for limiting the sitemap to 100 max results is to ensure the file size doesn't get too large.

Good luck!

P said...

Hi Wizz,

I badly need your advice here. I am trying to submit a sitemap for my blog, but no matter what I use (including redirect) I am consistently getting errors. Of the total of 500 posts or so, only 26 URLs are being submitted.

After reading this post, I added the redirect with post nos 1 to 100, in this case, 101 urls were submitted (but none indexed) BUT the status is still that of an error!!

Could you please tell where could the possible problem be??

Many thanks,

P

Ps: if you want to check out the site, it is at phoenixcapital.blogspot.com

The Wizz said...

Phoenix the issue with using your standard feed is that by default it only shows the last 25 entries. For this reason it pays to override the defaults using the method above where you have a lot of posts. It takes time for Google to index so don't be too alarmed if it is a slow process. As to the error message - check what feed you actually burned. Was it rss or atom? You may be submitting an invalid sitemap.

The Admin said...

Hi there thanks for you blog I really find it very useful , , but here is my problem after I submit the sitemaps both atom.xml and rss.xml (just to make sure I got the right one ) I get only one page indexed , I wonder what am I doing wrong thanks for helping me here is my blog : http://economycollapse.blogspot.com

The Wizz said...

Hi Admin. I doubt you are doing anything wrong. More likely Google is taking its time to index. There is always a bit of a time lag before Google crawls and makes changes. As the shampoo ad says it may not happen overnight but it will happen!

Elena said...

Thank you so much! I would have never done it without your help!

www.dakotaboo.com said...

Fantastic article - many thanks for sharing this info.

MoHaMeD ElsA3dY said...

thanks


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techberth said...

thanks

David said...

thanks you help me alot

Cedric dv said...

a very helpful article... couldn't quite figure out what was happening as i could not add a sitemap...once again thank you

tanpa sensor said...

really helpfull tutorial. I do everything mention on here. thanks

8mm said...

wow this guide is so helpful. thank you so much. i'm following this for sure!
hey you should check out my blog @ http://WereAndWillBe.blogspot.com/ :) let me know what you think and be sure to follow if you like it! thank you :)

Vladimir said...

thanks it really healps alot

Vladimir said...

really helps alot

paul1263 said...

you answered a question i have been puzzling over for months thanks a lot really really helpful

The White Whimsies said...

Thank you so much. I have been trying to figure this out for a while now.

Naturally Blessed said...

Google webmaster won't accept my RSS. I tried everything I could but it just won't go through. I don't know what to do. Please help.

The Wizz said...

Hi Naturally Blessed. What did you enter exactly in Google Webmaster?

Dan said...

This article, like the rest of your site, has been invaluable to me in setting up my blog. You have saved me time, money, and frustration, because I found information quickly, I didn't have to buy useless books (i did buy them, but they were not as helpful), thank you.
Www.blog.fresnourban.com

rohit dawra said...

Thanx for the great guidance.the unmatched information for blog owners. we owe you :)

http://myfirstlyrics.blogspot.com/

sandy said...

Oy my gosh! Blogging for years and never knew how to submit a sitemap for blogspot blogs. Thank you SO MUCH!

Topogina said...

thanx for your instructions. I've been trying for 3 days and then in 3 minutes i sorted it out using the feeds. Genius, thats what you are. Cheers!

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