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FAQ: Sitemaps

Q: Some folks have claimed that their sites were penalized after they submitted Sitemaps. Is this a coincidence?
Yes. Google will not penalize your site for submitting a Sitemap. Sitemaps provide an extra way for us to understand what pages you have on your site, and can help speed up the discovery of new and updated pages on your site. But neither HTML nor XML Sitemaps replace the normal crawling process. Having a Sitemap will not increase your ranking in Google's search results pages—but it will not reduce it, either.

Q: Why is my Sitemap file showing a submitted URL count that does not match the number of entries in my Sitemap file?
The number of submitted URLs reflects the number of unique URLs submitted in your Sitemap file, not the number of entries in the file. If Google finds a significant number of duplicate URLs, we may limit the number of URLs that we include for this count. You can resolve this issue by making sure that your Sitemap file does not contain duplicate URLs.

Q: Why is the number of indexed URLs shown on my Sitemap page [0 / less than what a site: query shows]?
The "Indexed:" count refers to the number of URLs from that particular Sitemap that are indexed, not the total number of URLs from your site that are indexed. If URLs from your site are indexed that aren't in your Sitemap, you may see more URLs in search results than the "Indexed" number from the Sitemaps page.
Check whether:
  • some of the URLs you want indexed aren't included in your Sitemap
  • some of the URLs in your Sitemap shouldn't be indexed (for example, they may be duplicates of a better URL that's currently indexed)
  • ...then make sure your Sitemap contains all the URLs it should, none of the URLs it shouldn't, and resubmit it!