Webmaster Tools Google XML Sitemap Configuration

Webmaster Tools Google XML Sitemap ConfigurationI have been spending the last month tweaking my website and this is another tweak and tutorial for configuring the Google XML Sitemap settings.

The goal is to show you how to get this XML Sitemap plugin working hard behind the scenes on your blog.

Google XML Sitemap is a WordPress plugin that generates a XML sitemap that is readable by all the major search engines, giving bots a more effective method to see the complete structure of your blog and index your content accordingly.

Additionally this XML Sitemap plugin will notify Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Ask.com when new content is published.  This is a “set it and forget it” plugin and I recommend using it on your blog.

The Google XML Sitemap settings page does come with many configuring options, so I have prepared this short tutorial to walk you through the setup options step-by-step.

So just follow along and Google XML Sitemap will be configured on your blog in no time.

Installing Google XML Sitemap

If you have not already done so, you’ll first need to install this Google XML Sitemap plugin.  Hover your mouse over “Plugins”, and click on “Add New.”

Plugins >> Add New

Type or copy the plugin name “Google XML Sitemap” into the search field provided and hit enter.

Install and activate this plugin.

Once installed, head over to the Google XML Sitemap settings page.Webmaster Tools Google XML Sitemap Configuration

Settings >> XML-Sitemap

Google XML Sitemap Settings Page

Scroll down to Basic Options on the Google XML Sitemaps settings page.

Basic Options

Sitemap files:

  • I check “Write a normal XML file (your filename)”
  • I check “Write a gzipped file (your filename + .gz)”

Building mode:

  • I check “Rebuild sitemap if you change the content of your blog”
  • I do not check “Enable manual sitemap building via GET Request”

Please note that these “XML sitemap” settings will not dictate what content the search engines will look at and index.  This is accomplished through a robots.txt file and your SEO settings.  These XML sitemap settings are simply a tool to allow the search engines to more effectively crawl your blog content.  Moving on now…

Custom taxonomies:

  • I do not check “Include taxonomy pages for Format”

Further options:

  • I check “Include the last modification time”

Excluded Items

Excluded categories:

This is where you can elect to have certain categories excluded from your sitemap (if you selected to include categories above).

Exclude posts:

This is where you can elect to have certain posts or pages excluded from your sitemap.

Change Frequencies

  • Select “Always” for all options.  The search engines do not pay much attention to this field, and they will do as they please anyway.  Again, these settings are only a tool to assist the search engines, but how they choose to crawl and index content is up to them.  These settings are not all that important.


  • Select “1.0″ for all options.  Again, the search engines do not care, and will do as they please.  These settings are not important.

Webmaster Tools Google XML Sitemap ConfigurationWhen you are done, click “Update options”

We are done. The Google XML Sitemap settings are now configured to give you the most value from this plugin.

I think that is the name of the game.  Trying to optimize your website to the best of your ability.  You will find the more you play around with it and tinker a bit the better it will get.  But the knowledge you gain and the satisfaction that you did it yourself is priceless.

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Webmaster Tools Google XML Sitemap Configuration

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Webmaster Tools Google XML Sitemap Configuration


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