Sitemap Pinger is a free Chrome Extension that allows you to ping your website sitemap to Google in one click. Just navigate to your website, click on the extension and the sitemap for that site will be submitted to Google straight away.
Pinging your sitemap is one of the three ways in which you can submit it to Google. You can use Google Search Console, the Search Console API or the sitemap ping tool.
Since I read that Google still supports their sitemap ping tool, I’ve been using it as a fast quick way to submit website changes to Google.
Why should you submit your sitemap to Google?
Creating and submitting a sitemap is one of the few basic SEO best practices that have remained relevant through the years.
Search engines like Google read this file to crawl your site more efficiently. A sitemap tells Google which pages and files you think are important in your site, and also provides valuable information about these files. For example, when the page was last updated and any alternate language versions of the page.
TL;DR: It helps Google understand what pages to prioritise when crawling your site, it provides a list of URLs to start crawling from and it offers additional information about those URLs.
So yeah, submitting your sitemap is pretty much a no-brainer.
Re-submitting your sitemap
Google will continuously crawl known sitemaps at their own pace, to refresh their information on known URLs or discover new content.
Knowing that you might think that when it comes to sitemap submissions, you just “set it and forget it”, but you would be wrong. Re-submitting your sitemap is a great way to ensure that Google catches your changes or updates quickly.
If a sitemap has been successfully crawled, Google will periodically recrawl the sitemap at a pace unrelated to the regular site crawl. If you make big changes to a sitemap, you might want to resubmit your sitemap with a new request. Otherwise, if your sitemap doesn't have critical updates must be processed immediately, let Google follow its regular crawling schedule. Manage your sitemaps using the Sitemaps report, Google Search Console Help (retrieved 7th of January 2023)
In defence of the sitemap ping
If you try to resubmit your sitemap through Google Search Console you will find that you have to delete your existing one before you can re-add it. With the sitemap ping tool, you don’t have to go through all that trouble.
Pinging your sitemap after a big change can be really useful if you want to ask Google to recrawl your site. If you have different sitemaps for each section of your site this can be even more efficient. All you have to do is re-submit the sitemap for the specific area of your site that has been changed.
So we created Sitemap Pinger
Sitemap Pinger is a free Chrome Extension that allows you to ping your website sitemap to Google in one click.
How to use it
Just navigate to your website, click on the extension and the sitemap for that site will be submitted to Google straight away. Easy.
How we built it
To submit your URL via the sitemap ping tool, all you have to do is append your sitemap URL to https://www.google.com/ping?sitemap=
It sounds really simple, but I kept going back to the documentation every time I wanted to ping my sitemaps to find the right URL. I knew I wanted a tool to make this easier.
So I asked Tom Heyes to build it for me. You weren’t expecting me to marry a software developer and get nothing out of it, were you?
I set out the requirements and expected behaviour. Tom handled all the technical aspects of it and got it live in the Chrome Extensions Library.
We wondered if the submission would work for sites that have a sitemap index. These sites redirect their domain.com/sitemap.xml to a different URL, usually domain.com/sitemap_index.xml. So we took to Mastodon and asked John Muller, who confirmed we’re in the clear ⬇️
How it works
When you click on the extension:
Sitemap Pinger grabs the URL from your active Chrome tab.
It trims the URL down to the root domain, unless you’re already on a URL ending in .xml. So lidia-infante.com/blog becomes lidia-infante.com, but lidia-infante.com/sitemap.xml doesn’t change.
Then it appends sitemap.xml to the root domain URL. So the above example becomes lidia-infante.com/sitemap.xml.
Then it opens a new tab on with ‘https://www.google.com/ping?sitemap=`. and appends your domain URL + `sitemap.xml`. In the above example we would get https://www.google.com/ping?sitemap=https://lidia-infante.com/sitemap.xml.
You will know that the sitemap submission has been successful when you see this on your screen:
The extension does not collect any of your data and we won’t sell it, so you know it’s completely safe to use.
If you want to know the specifics and check out the code, Tom has made it available on Github.
Ready to try it?
The Sitemap Pinger is live and can be installed right away.
We don’t make any money out of it, but we thought it would be fun to create something together. We hope you enjoy it!