Manage your sitemaps with a sitemap index file
If you have a sitemap that exceeds the size limits, you'll need to split up your large sitemap into multiple sitemaps such that each new sitemap is below the size limit. Once you've split up your sitemap, you can use a sitemap index file as a way to submit many sitemaps at once.
Sitemap index best practices
The XML format of a sitemap index file is very similar to the XML format of a sitemap file, and it's defined by the Sitemap Protocol. This means that all the sitemap requirements apply to sitemap index files also.
The referenced sitemaps must be hosted on the same site as your sitemap index file. This requirement is waived if you set up cross-site submission.
Sitemaps that are referenced in the sitemap index file must be in the same
directory as the sitemap index file, or lower in the site hierarchy. For example, if the
sitemap index file is at
https://example.com/public/sitemap_index.xml, it can
only contain sitemaps that are in the same or deeper directory, like
You can submit up to 500 sitemap index files for each site in your Search Console account.
Example sitemap index
The following example shows a sitemap index in XML format that lists two sitemaps:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <sitemapindex xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9"> <sitemap> <loc>https://www.example.com/sitemap1.xml.gz</loc> </sitemap> <sitemap> <loc>https://www.example.com/sitemap2.xml.gz</loc> </sitemap> </sitemapindex>
Sitemap index reference
The sitemap index tags are defined by the same namespace as generic sitemaps:
To make sure Google can use your sitemap index, you must use the following required tags:
|The root tag of the XML tree. It contains all the other tags.
The parent tag for each sitemap listed in the file. It's the first and only direct child
tag of the
The location (URL) of the sitemap. It's the first and only the child of the
sitemap tag. A sitemap index file may have up to 50,000
Additionally, the following optional tags may help Google schedule your sitemaps for crawling:
Identifies the time that the corresponding sitemap file was modified. The value for the
lastmod tag must be in
W3C Datetime format.
Want to learn more? Check out the following resources: