Helping Google index your WordPress blog

If search engine optimization is important to you, you probably already know about Google Sitemaps.

Google thinks sitemaps are important:

Sitemaps helps speed up the discovery of your pages, which is an important first step in crawling and indexing your pages, but there are many other factors that influence the crawling/indexing processes. Sitemaps lets you tell us information about your pages (which ones you think are most important, how often the pages change), so you can have a voice in these subsequent steps. Other factors include how many sites link to you, if your content is unique and relevant, if we can crawl the pages successfully, and everything outlined in our webmaster guidelines.

To make this work, you have to create a sitemap file, a special XML document. For most people, this is not very easy.

Luckily, it is if you have a a WordPress blog.

Last year, Arne Brachhold developed the Google Sitemap Generator for WordPress plug-in which I discovered only recently. This automatically generates a Google Sitemaps-compliant sitemap of your WordPress blog.

Once you upload that file to your Google Sitemaps account, you’re on your way to helping Google index and crawl your site better which may result in a more complete index of the site.


Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. alt

    I’ve recently had problems with google site maps with all my pages disappearing after submitting a new one. After finding this post, I thought I’d give it a go just on for my blog, as I’m wondering if a server-side redirect was causing problems for the googlebot.

    Anyway, sitemap generator worked straight out of the box and I’m now waiting for google to index my site properly. Great post, really helped!

  2. Michael

    Hi, I wanted to let you know that you can just create a sitemap from a text file. I have done this and it works just fine. Its actually easier for me to add some links to it here and there and then resubmit and let nature take its course. The only thing that I dislike about sitemaps is that it does not always pick up my 404, but i think that has to do with data refreshes. Thanks for the article.

  3. Jake

    Thanks for the verification that the google sitemap is beneficial.

    I set up my own wordpress on a dedicated server and domain name recently and started out getting it onto google by verifying the site, adding the URL, and adding a sitemap. I’ve verified that my robots.txt file is clear (allowing all robots to crawl my site) and I still am running into a brick wall in terms of getting indexed. Google still states it has not indexed any pages from my site, several weeks after completing the steps described above.

    If anyone has any input or ideas for me, I’d love to hear them! Thanks.

  4. sinus

    @jake: i am having the same problems. almost a month now and no index from google…
    i also had to fix the HTTP Errors for the template i was using. turns out that wordpress does not return the proper http error code if you have not setup your template properly… i had to add something into my .htaccess file to go around this…

  5. Seo PPC Gurus Reviewer

    My experience was that when my site had been stale for many months, google stopped deep crawling it and so even after I started revamping the entire site, there was no crawling for several months even after submitting a sitemap. Then after building some new quality links and deleting the sitemap, the entire site got deep crawled, and all the hundreds of new pages showed up. Could it be that google’s sitemap feature does not work that well? yet? Or is the whole indexing thing just slow as heck that it would have worked either way? I think it’s both!


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