Google on XML Sitemap Files: Does Location Matter?

Google for Sitemap XML

“An XML sitemap lists a website’s important pages, making sure Google can find and crawl them all, and helping it understand your website structure.”

~Yoast SEO

XML Sitemaps are crucial when observed from a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) point-of-view. For this reason, an evident inquiry was posted last week, September 4, 2018, via Twitter by user Merlinox.

Does the location of your XML Sitemap matter to Google?

Whether the list of pages are found in the root folder or another directory, does it affect Google’s function in finding the site pages?

The Answer

John Mueller, Google’s Webmaster Trend Analyst, provides an answer. In a tweet posted last week, John says it depends “on how they [the sitemaps] were discovered.” Furthermore, John goes on to say that one: If submitted via anonymous ping, they’re only valid there and lower levels. And two, if you submit them through your Search Console account, they can be valid for any verified site or part of a site.

Here are the following question-and-answer tweets posted by Twitter user Merlinox and John Mueller:

Why have an XML Sitemap?

An XML sitemap provides Google and any other search engine a cheat sheet. It tells search engines which pages to crawl so they can be considered for indexing. The sitemap directs search engine crawlers to the information you want them to find and promote.

It is, by no means, a surefire guarantee to sway the search bots to your favor. But the likelihood of being discovered increases.

That is why sitemaps are vital to search engine optimization. So, why not do it? You literally have nothing to lose when you do it.

And on that note,

The landscape of business and entrepreneurship in Google and many other search engines grows more and more competitive by the day. Utilizing every tool at your disposal to aid your website’s SEO is crucial. This is perhaps, the reason why questions like sitemap locations are being asked.