How to: Submit your Sitemap to the Top 5 Places Where They Need to Be

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If you are looking to submit your URL because you just launched a new site, you might have a bit more work to do today than in the past. Search engines have evolved and even collaborated on some standards to facilitate their job of indexing the web.

You now have to do more than to submit a single URL and have the crawler do the rest (you can do that but it does not guarantee your important pages will be found.  There are five places where you need to submit your Sitemap (no time and know how to ping? jump to the summary):

  1. Google - The top search engine with roughly 65% market share
  2. Bing - From Microsoft, formerly MSN and Live, will soon own 25% of the search market share
  3. Yahoo! - Still an important player while it is being replaced by Bing
  4. Ask.com - With 2.5% market share, still an important search engine
  5. Moreover - a premier provider of real-time news and business information on the Web (serves many Fortune 500 companies)

We assume you have already created your sitemap using your content management system or a Sitemap generator and that you are ready to send it out to lead the web crawlers to your page.

How to: Submit a Sitemap to Google

The process is done through their user interface and will also allow you to check on the number of indexed items. To submit your sitemap to Google, you must first add your site to Google Webmaster Tools. Then, as described by their help page

  1. On the Webmaster Tools home page, click the site you want.
  2. Under Site configuration, click Sitemaps.
  3. In the text box, complete the path to your Sitemap (for example, if your Sitemap is at http://www.example.com/sitemap.xml, type sitemap.xml).
  4. Click Submit Sitemap.

Shortly after your sitemap is submitted you should see a screenshot similar to the one below which validates the format of your sitemap and shows the number of URLs found and indexed.

Google Webmaster Tools Sitemaps

Your job is done after submitting your sitemap to Google as the sitemap will be crawled on a regular basis based on the frequency of the URLs in your file. 

However, if your sitemap does not appear to get automatically updated, you can select it and click on Resubmit to force an update. You may also update your sitemap using an HTTP Request (by visiting the URL in your browser or using a script):

  1. If your Sitemap is located at http://www.example.com/sitemap.gz, your URL will become:
    http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/ping?sitemap=http://www.example.com/sitemap.gz
  2. Make sure you URL encode everything after the /ping?sitemap=:
    http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/ping?sitemap=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.example.com%2Fsitemap.gz

How to: Submit a Sitemap to Bing

You can use the Bing Webmaster Center interface to submit your sitemap to Bing but it is not mandatory. As you could guess, you will be asked to login using a Windows Live ID, once done you can add your site for the first time by following the step-by-step site authentication. You can see that you can also immediately submit your sitemap URL:

Add a Site to Bing Webmaster Center

Once your site authenticated, select it and click on Sitemaps. You will be prompted to enter your sitemap URL using the text input box or through a browser ping through:

http://www.bing.com/webmaster/ping.aspx?siteMap=[your sitemap web address]

Bing Webmaster Center does not show whether your sitemap is validate or how many URLs it indexed from it. If you have a low number of pages, you can always perform a Bing Search with site:example.com.

How to: Submit a Sitemap to Yahoo!

Yahoo! adopted the official sitemap protocol but must be submitted through their Feeds interface of the Yahoo! Site Explorer. Alternatively, we suggest you submit your site and go through the site authentication process to fully leverage the Yahoo! Webmaster Interface.

Yahoo! Site Explorer Sitemaps

The screenshot shows how your submitted sitemap will look like.  It shows the last submission date and the current status. Clicking on the sitemap in question will show you the number of indexed documents. You may update your sitemap by clicking on Resubmit or by using an HTTP Ping:

http://search.yahooapis.com/SiteExplorerService/V1/updateNotification?appid=YahooDemo&url=[your sitemap web address]

As mentioned during the introduction to this article, Bing will replace Yahoo!'s search result sooner or later, hence this part of the tutorial might become obsolete.  We will keep it for archival purposes.

How to: Submit a Sitemap to Ask.com

Ask.com is different from the previous three search engine sitemap submission since they do not have a webmaster user interface. They do support sitemaps. To submit and update your sitemap to Ask.com, you simply need to ping the following:

http://submissions.ask.com/ping?sitemap=[your sitemap web address]

You will receive the following response to confirm that your sitemap was successfully received by Ask:

Ask.com Sitemaps Submission Success

They do however that sitemap submissions do not guarantee the indexing of URLs.

How to: Submit a Sitemap to Moreover.com

Moreover Screenshot

Moreover Technologies is not a search engine, it is a company with the goal to provide real time search on news sources and blogs to several companies.  Their clients include Fortune 500 companies as well as Weblogs.com, therefore it will be more useful for blogs or website about business.

To submit your sitemap to Moreover, you need to ping the following:

http://api.moreover.com/ping?u=[your sitemap web address]

Summary of the Top 5 Places to Submit your Sitemap

We looked at the top 5 places to submit your sitemap, if you found this article useful or have anything to add, please let us know by adding your comment. To facilitate your sitemap submissions, here are the links to the webmaster interfaces and the URLs to ping by visiting the address in your browser or by using a script.

http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/ping?sitemap=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.example.com%2Fsitemap.xml
http://www.bing.com/webmaster/ping.aspx?siteMap=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.example.com%2Fsitemap.xml
http://search.yahooapis.com/SiteExplorerService/V1/updateNotification?appid=YahooDemo&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.example.com%2Fsitemap.xml
http://submissions.ask.com/ping?sitemap=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.example.com%2Fsitemap.xml
http://api.moreover.com/ping?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.example.com%2Fsitemap.xml

In the above examples, you only need to replace your site's domain and sitemap path since we already URL encoded the http:// and / portions.

There are of course other topics we need to address such as sitemap generators, and sitemap pinging services aggregators. Subscribe to netParticle's RSS Feed to be alerted of our updates.


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