Webmaster Tools

Developer's Guide

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Google Webmaster Tools allows client applications to view and update site information and Sitemaps in the form of Google Webmaster Tools Data API feeds. Your client application can use the Google Webmaster Tools Data API to:

  • View a list of sites in your account
  • Add and remove sites from your account
  • Verify site ownership
  • Modify site settings
  • Retrieve a list of the keywords Google has found on your site
  • Submit and delete Sitemaps
  • Manage messages sent to your account by Google via the Message Center in Webmaster Tools.

Contents

  1. Audience
  2. Getting started
    1. Overview
    2. Creating a Webmaster Tools account
    3. Authenticating to the Webmaster Tools service
  3. Managing sites
    1. Retrieving the Sites feed
    2. Adding a site to an account
    3. Deleting sites from an account
    4. Verifying site ownership
  4. Updating site settings
    1. Geolocation
    2. Crawl rate
    3. Preferred domain
    4. Crawl rate
  5. Understanding keywords
    1. About the Keywords feed
    2. Requesting a list of keywords Google has found on your site
  6. Managing Sitemaps
    1. About the Sitemaps feed
    2. Requesting a list of submitted Sitemaps
    3. Submitting Sitemaps
    4. Deleting Sitemaps
  7. Managing Message Center messages
    1. Retrieving the Messages feed
    2. Marking a message as read or unread
    3. Deleting messages

Audience

This document is intended for programmers who want to write client applications that can interact with Google Webmaster Tools. It provides a series of examples of basic Data API interactions using raw XML and HTTP, with explanations.

This document assumes that you understand the general ideas behind the Google Data APIs and Sitemaps.

For Google Webmaster Tools Data API reference information, see the reference guide.

Getting started

Overview

The Google Webmaster Tools Data API enables you to add a site, get verification information, and submit an XML Sitemap for your site. Here's our recommended process:

  • Create a Webmaster Tools account.
  • Add your site(s) to the authenticated user account. The response is a Sites feed listing the sites you've submitted, as well as the information you'll need to verify ownership of your site(s).
  • Verify ownership of your site using your preferred method.
  • Create a Sitemap, and submit it to Webmaster Tools.
  • Update site settings.
    • Associate your site with a specific geographic location. If your site has a geographically neutral top-level domain, such as .com, .org, or .net, and is aimed at users in a specific location, you can associate your site with that location
    • Request a change to how often Google crawls your site. For example, if your content is crawled too often, you can submit a request for a slower crawl rate.
    • Set a preferred domain for your site. For example, if you specify your preferred domain as http://www.example.com and we find a link to your site that is formatted as http://example.com, we follow that link as http://www.example.com instead.
    • Enable enhanced image search. If you choose to opt in to enhanced image search, Google may use tools such as Google Image Labeler to associate the images included in your site with labels that will improve indexing and search quality of those images.
  • Monitor and manage messages sent to the Message Center in Google Webmaster Tools.

Creating a Webmaster Tools account

You may want to sign up for a Webmaster Tools account for testing purposes. Webmaster Tools uses Google Accounts, so if you already have a Google account, you're all set.

Authenticating to the Webmaster Tools service

To request feeds or update data, your client needs an authentication token. Your choice of authentication method should be determined by the kind of client you're writing: single-user desktop applications should use the ClientLogin system, while multi-user web apps should use the AuthSub system. For a more detailed discussion of these authentication systems, see the Google Account Authentication document and the Google Data APIs Authentication Overview.

Managing sites

Retrieving the Sites feed

The Sites feed returns all sites in an authenticated user's Webmaster Tools account, along with verification information and other information about each site's crawl and index status. If you have verified your site, the Sites feed will also include information about site settings (such as preferred domain, geographic association, enhanced image search, and crawl rate).

To retrieve a list of sites in a user's account, send an authenticated GET request to the following URL:

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/feeds/sites/

The response is a Sites feed. Each entry in the response feed represents a site added by the user. Here is a typical entry for a site (http://www.example.com/) that has been crawled by Google, is in the Google index, and has not yet been verified in Webmaster Tools.

<atom:feed xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom"
xmlns:gd="http://schemas.google.com/g/2005"
xmlns:wt="http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007">
<atom:id>https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/feeds/sites</atom:id>
<atom:title>Sites</atom:title> <atom:entry> <atom:id>http://www.example.com</atom:id> <atom:title type="text">http://www.example.com</atom:title> <atom:content src="http://www.example.com"/> <atom:updated>2007-11-17T18:27:32.543Z</atom:updated> <atom:category scheme='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#kind' term='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007#site-info'/> <atom:link rel="self" type="application/atom+xml" href="https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/feeds/sites" /> <wt:indexed xmlns:wt="http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007">true</indexed> <wt:crawled xmlns:wt="http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007">2006-1-1T18:30:00.000Z</crawled> <wt:verified xmlns:wt="http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007">false</wt:verified> <wt:verification-method xmlns:wt="http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007" type="metatag" in-use="false"><meta name="verify-v1" content="a2Ai"/> </wt:verification-method> <wt:verification-method xmlns:wt="http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007" type="htmlpage" in-use="false">456456-google.html</wt:verification-method> <wt:geolocation xmlns:wt='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007'>US</wt:geolocation> <wt:preferred-domain xmlns:wt='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007'>none</wt:preferred-domain> <wt:crawl-rate xmlns:wt='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007'>normal</wt:crawl-rate> <wt:enhanced-image-search xmlns:wt='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007'>true</wt:enhanced-image-search> </atom:entry> </feed>

There are several new elements here, all in the gd and wt namespaces. For information about those elements, see the reference guide. Most important are the <verified> and <verification-method> elements, which contain information you'll need in order to verify ownership of your site.

To access individual entries, add the SiteID, which is your Site URL encoded using URL encoding:

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/feeds/sites/SiteID/

For example, to access entries for the site http://www.example.com/, use the following URL:

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/feeds/sites/http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eexample%2Ecom%2F

Adding a site to an account

To add a new site, first create the XML for a site <entry> element like the ones in the previous example. You only need to specify the site URL, which is set using the <content> element. For example, you might create the following XML to represent http://www.example.com/.

<atom:entry xmlns='http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom>
  <content src="http://www.example.com/" />
</atom:entry>

To add this site, send an HTTP POST message with this site <entry> element in the message body, using the application/atom+xml content type, to the Sites feed URL:

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/feeds/sites/

The response is an HTTP 201 CREATED status code, along with the Sites feed, as described above, including a copy of the new post in the form of an <entry> element, including additional elements added by Webmaster Tools.

If your request fails, Webmaster Tools will return a different status code. For information about the status codes, see the protocol reference document.

Deleting sites from an account

You can delete an existing site from a Webmaster Tools account. The site is identified by its Site ID (as defined in the <id> element of the Sites feed, encoded using URL encoding). For example, to delete the site http://www.example.com/, send an authenticated DELETE request to:

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/feeds/sites/http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eexample%2Ecom%2F

If your request is successful, the server will return an an HTTP 200 (OK) status code.

Verifying site ownership

Webmaster Tools will provide key information only to users who have verified their ownership of the site(s). There are two methods of verification: Using an HTML page, or using a meta tag. For either of these methods, add the site to your account in order to receive the HTML page file name and the meta tag value in the resulting Sites feed. Only one method can be in use at any time. More information about site verification.

To verify using an HTML page, you will need to create an HTML page and upload it to the highest-level directory on your server. The file must have the filename specified in the Sites feed:

<wt:verification-method type="htmlpage" in-use="false">456456-google.html</wt:verification-method>

To verify using a meta tag, update your home page with the meta tag specified in the Sites feed:

<wt:verification-method type="metatag" in-use="false"><meta name="verify-v1" content="a2Ai"/>
    </wt:verification-method>

Once you've created the file or updated your home page, submit a verification request. In the body of your request, provide the following information:

  • The entry <id>, which identifies the site
  • The <category> and <wt:verification-method> elements.

First copy the XML for the site's <entry> element like the ones in the Sites feed example, and specify the name and path of the Sitemap file in the <id> element. Set the in-use attribute of the selected verification-method to true:

<atom:entry xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom" 
  xmlns:wt="http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007">
<atom:id>http://www.example.com/news/sitemap-index.xml</atom:id>
<category scheme='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#kind' term='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007#site-info'/> <wt:verification-method type="htmlpage" in-use="true"/> </atom:entry>

If you're using the meta tag method, update the entry as follows:

<wt:verification-method type="metatag" in-use="true"/>

Then submit an authenticated PUT request to:

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/feeds/sites/http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eexample%2Ecom%2F/

Webmaster Tools will check your site for the expected HTML file or meta tag. If successful, the response is a Sites feed with each entry updated and the <verified> element set to <true>.

Updating site settings

You must verify your site in order to be able to see and modify the site settings. (You can upate only one setting at a time.) To update a site's setting, first copy the XML for the site's <entry> element like the ones in the Sites feed example, and then add the desired element as listed below. Then submit an authenticated PUT request to:

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/feeds/sites/http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eexample%2Ecom%2F/

If the operation is successful, the result is a Sites feed with the updated settings information for each entry.

Geolocation

To target your site at users in a specific geographic location, add the geolocation element, and specify the geographic location. The value must be an accepted location as specified here. In the example below, the geolocation has been set to US. Incorrect updates (for example, attempting to assign a geolocation to a site with a country-specific TLD such as www.example.ie) will return an error.

<atom:entry xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom" 
  xmlns:wt="http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007">
<id>http://www.example.com</id>
<category scheme='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#kind' term='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007#site-info'/> <wt:geolocation>US</wt:geolocation> </atom:entry>
More information about geolocation.

Crawl rate

To request a change in crawl rate, add the crawl-rate element, and specify the desired crawl rate. Accepted crawl rate values are: slower, normal, and faster.

<atom:entry xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom" 
  xmlns:wt="http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007">
<id>http://www.example.com/news/sitemap-index.xml</id>
<category scheme='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#kind' term='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007#site-info'/> <wt:crawl-rate>slower</wt:crawl-rate> </atom:entry>
More information about crawl rate.

Preferred domain

To set the preferred domain for a verified site, add the preferred-domain element. Accepted values are none (default), preferwww (www.example.com) and prefernowww (http://example.com). In the example below, the preferred domain has been set to www.example.com.

<atom:entry xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom" 
  xmlns:wt="http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007">
<atom:id>http://www.example.com/news/sitemap-index.xml</atom:id>
<category scheme='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#kind' term='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007#site-info'/> <wt:preferred-domain>preferwww</wt:preferred-domain> </atom:entry>
More information about setting your preferred domain.

Inclusion in Google Image Labeler

To include images on your site in Google Image Labeler, add the enhanced-image-search element. Accepted values are true and false.

<atom:entry xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom" 
  xmlns:wt="http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007">
<id>http://www.example.com/news/sitemap-index.xml</id>
<category scheme='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#kind' term='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007#site-info'/> <wt:enhanced-image-search>true</wt:enhanced-image-search> </atom:entry>
More information about Image Labeler.

Understanding keywords

About the Keywords feed

The Keywords feeds lists keywords (and phrases) discovered by Googlebot when crawling a verified site in your account. These keywords are found either on your site (internal) or in the anchor text used by other sites to link to yours (external). Together, these keywords represent a snapshot of how Google sees the content of your site. If you see unexpected keywords (such as "Viagra") in the Keywords feed, it could be a sign that your site has been hacked. Conversely, if the feed does not contain expected keywords, it could indicate that Googlebot was not able to crawl and index all the pages on your site. In this case, we recommend submitting a Sitemap.

Retrieving the Keywords feed

Note: To receive the Keyword feed, you must verify your site.

You can get a feed containing a list of keywords and phrases identified for a given site. For example, to get a list of keywords and phrases Googlebot has identified for the site www.example.com, use the following URL (the site is identified by its Site ID as defined in the element of the Sites feed, encoded using URL encoding):

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/feeds/http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eexample%2Ecom%2F/keywords/

The result is a Keyword feed. The following example shows the Keyword feed for the site www.example.com, and lists both internal and external keywords.

<?xml version='1.0'?>
<atom:feed xmlns:atom='http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom' xmlns:openSearch='http://a9.com/-/spec/opensearchrss/1.0/'>
    <atom:id>http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/feeds/http%3A%2F%2Fwww.example.com%2F/keywords</atom:id>
    <atom:updated>2008-10-22T20:50:18.713Z</atom:updated>
    <atom:category scheme='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#kind' 
term='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007#keyword_entry'>
    </atom:category>
    <atom:title type='text'>Keywords</atom:title>
    <atom:link rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#feed' type='application/atom+xml' 
href='http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/feeds/http%3A%2F%2Fwww.example.com%2F/keywords'>
    </atom:link>
    1example</wt:keyword>
    <wt:keyword xmlns:wt='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007' source='external'>example com</wt:keyword>
    <wt:keyword xmlns:wt='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007' source='external'>flour</wt:keyword>
    <wt:keyword xmlns:wt='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007' source='external'>view story</wt:keyword>
    <wt:keyword xmlns:wt='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007' source='external'>baking recipes</wt:keyword>
    <wt:keyword xmlns:wt='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007' source='internal'>bread</wt:keyword>
    <wt:keyword xmlns:wt='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007' source='internal'>cake</wt:keyword>
</atom:feed>

Managing Sitemaps

XML Sitemaps are a way for you to give Google information about your site. In its simplest terms, a Sitemap is a list of the pages on your website. Creating and submitting a Sitemap helps make sure that Google knows about all the pages on your site, including URLs that may not be discoverable by Google's normal crawling process.

Sitemaps are particularly helpful if:

  • Your site has dynamic content.
  • Your site has pages that aren't easily discovered by Googlebot during the crawl process—for example, pages featuring rich AJAX or Flash.
  • Your site is new and has few links to it. (Googlebot crawls the web by following links from one page to another, so if your site isn't well linked, it may be hard for us to discover it.)
  • Your site has a large archive of content pages that are not well linked to each other, or are not linked at all.

While a standard Sitemap works for most sites, you can also create and submit specialized Sitemaps for certain types of content. These Sitemap formats are specific to Google and are not used by other search engines. They're a good way to give Google detailed information about specific content types. For example, publishers can use News Sitemaps to give Google information relevant to news sites that appear in Google News search results, such as publication date, keywords, and stock ticker symbol. As well as regular Sitemaps, specific Sitemap types include Video Sitemaps, Mobile Sitemaps, News Sitemaps, and Code Search Sitemaps. More information about Sitemaps.

You can use the Google Webmaster Tools Data API to request a list of all Sitemaps submitted for a given site, and to submit and delete Sitemaps. Used in conjunction with a Sitemap tool such as the Sitemap Generator, this can help developers automate the creation and submission of Sitemaps.

About the Sitemaps feed

The Sitemaps feed lists the Sitemaps submitted for a specified site in an authenticated user account:

Requesting a list of submitted Sitemaps

You can get a feed containing a list of the all Sitemaps submitted for a given site. For example, to get a list of all Sitemaps submitted for the site http://www.example.com/, send an authenticated GET request to the following URL (the site is identified by its Site ID as defined in the <id> element, encoded using URL encoding).

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/feeds/http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eexample%2Ecom%2F/sitemaps/

To access an individual Sitemap entry, you need to specify both SiteID and SitemapID. The SitemapID is the full Sitemap URL encoded using URL encoding. For example, to access an entry (in this example, http://www.example.com/sitemap.xml) submitted for the site http://www.example.com, use the following URL:

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/feeds/http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eexample%2Ecom%2F/
  sitemaps/http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eexample%2Ecom%2Fsitemap%2Exml/ 

The result is a Sitemap feed. The following example lists three Sitemaps—a regular XML Sitemap, a Mobile Sitemap, and a News Sitemap—submitted for the site http://www.example.com/.

<atom:feed xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom" 
  xmlns:wt="http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007">
<atom:id>http://www.example.com</atom:id>
<atom:title type="text">http://www.example.com/</atom:title>
<atom:updated>2006-11-17T18:27:32.543Z</atom:updated>
<atom:link rel="self" type="application/atom+xml" href="https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/feeds/http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eexample%2Ecom%2F/sitemaps" />
<atom:category scheme='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#kind' term='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007#sitemaps-feed'/>
<wt:sitemap-mobile>
<wt:markup-language>HTML</wt:markup-language>
<wt:markup-language>WAP</wt:markup-language>
</wt:sitemap-mobile>
<wt:sitemap-news>
<wt:publication-label>Value1</wt:publication-label>
<wt:publication-label>Value2</wt:publication-label>
<wt:publication-label>Value3</wt:publication-label>
</wt:sitemap-news>
<entry>
<atom:id>http://www.example.com/sitemap-index.xml</atom:id>
<atom:title type="text">http://www.example.com/sitemap-index.xml</atom:title>
<atom:category scheme='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#kind' term='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007#sitemap-regular'/> <atom:updated>2006-11-17T18:27:32.543Z</atom:updated> <wt:sitemap-type>WEB</wt:sitemap-type>
<wt:sitemap-status>StatusValue</wt:sitemap-status>
<wt:sitemap-last-downloaded>2006-11-18T19:27:32.543Z</wt:sitemap-last-downloaded>
<wt:sitemap-url-count>102</wt:sitemap-url-count>
</atom:entry>
<atom:entry>
<atom:id>http://www.example.com/mobile/sitemap-index.xml</atom:id>
<atom:title type="text">http://www.example.com/mobile/sitemap-index.xml</atom:title>
<atom:category scheme='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#kind' term='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007#sitemap-mobile'/>
<atom:updated>2006-11-17T18:27:32.543Z</atom:updated>
<wt:sitemap-status>StatusValue</wt:sitemap-status>
<wt:sitemap-last-downloaded>2006-11-18T19:27:32.543Z</wt:sitemap-last-downloaded>
<wt:sitemap-url-count>102</wt:sitemap-url-count>
<wt:sitemap-mobile-markup-language>HTML</wt:sitemap-mobile-markup-language>
</atom:entry>
<atom:entry>
<atom:id>http://www.example.com/news/sitemap-index.xml</atom:id>
<atom:title type="text">http://www.example.com/news/sitemap-index.xml</atom:title>
<atom:category scheme='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#kind' term='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007#sitemap-news'/>
<atom:updated>2006-11-17T18:27:32.543Z</atom:updated>
<wt:sitemap-status>StatusValue</wt:sitemap-status>
<wt:sitemap-last-downloaded>2006-11-18T19:27:32.543Z</wt:sitemap-last-downloaded>
<wt:sitemap-url-count>102</wt:sitemap-url-count>
<wt:sitemap-news-publication-label>LabelValue</wt:sitemap-news-publication-label>
</atom:entry>
</atom:feed>

There are several new elements here, all in the wt namespace. For information about those elements, see the reference guide.

Submitting Sitemaps

Once you have created a Sitemap in the approved format, you can submit it to Google. To submit a Sitemap for the site http://www.example.com/, send an authenticated POST request to the following URL:

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/feeds/http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eexample%2Ecom%2F/sitemaps/

Google supports many types of Sitemaps. Most Sitemap types are added in the same way. However, to add a Mobile or News Sitemap, you will need to provide some additional information.

To add a regular Sitemap for the site http://www.example.com/, first create the XML for a site <entry> element like the ones in the Sitemaps feed example. You will need to include the <entry>, <id>, <category>, and <wt:sitemap-type> elements for each Sitemap. The <id> is the Sitemap URL. The Sitemap type must be one of the following values: WEB, VIDEO, or CODE. In addition, set the <term> attribute of the <category> element to match the example below.

<atom:entry>
  <atom:id>http://www.example.com/sitemap-index.xml</atom:id>
<atom:category scheme='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#kind' term='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007#sitemap-regular'/> <wt:sitemap-type>WEB</wt:sitemap-type>
</atom:entry>

Mobile and News Sitemaps require additional parameters. The acceptable values are specified in the <wt:sitemap-mobile> and <wt:sitemap-news> elements of the Sitemaps feed. In addition, set the <term> attribute of the <category> element to match the example below.

News Sitemap

Specify the publication label (<wt:sitemap-news-publication-label>). The value must be one of the <wt:publication-label> values listed under the <wt:sitemap-news> element in the Sitemap feed. In addition, set the <term> attribute of the <category> element to match the example below. More information about News Sitemaps.

<atom:entry xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom" xmlns:wt="http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007">
  <atom:id>http://www.example.com/news/news_sitemap.xml</atom:id>
  <atom:category scheme="http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#kind" 
    term="http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/sitemap-news"/>
  <wt:sitemap-news-publication-label>Irish Times</wt:sitemap-news-publication-label>
</atom:entry>

Mobile Sitemap

Specify the markup language (<wt:sitemap-mobile-markup-language>). The value must be one of the <wt:markup-language> values listed under the <wt:sitemap-mobile> element in the Sitemap feed. In addition, set the <term> attribute of the <category> element to match the example below. More information about Mobile Sitemaps.

<atom:entry xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom" xmlns:wt="http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007">
  <atom:id>http://www.example.com/news/mobile_sitemap.xml</atom:id>
  <atom:category scheme="http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#kind" 
    term="http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/sitemap-mobile"/>
  <wt:sitemap-mobile-markup-language>HTML</wt:sitemap-mobile-markup-language>
</atom:entry>

The response will be a Sitemaps feed as described above, including entries for each submitted Sitemap.

Deleting Sitemaps

You can delete a Sitemap for a specified site. The site and sitemap are identified by their URLs, encoded using URL encoding. For example, to delete the Sitemap http://www.example.com/sitemap.xml for the site http://www.example.com/, send an authenticated DELETE request to:

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/feeds/http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eexample%2Ecom%2F/
  sitemaps/http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eexample%2Ecom%2F/sitemaps/http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eexample%2Ecom%2Fsitemap%2Exml 

Managing Message Center messages

Retrieving the Messages feed

Google uses the Message Center in Webmaster Tools to send messages about your site. The Messages feed returns these messages and related information, and is available in 40 languages. To receive messages, you must verify your site.

To retrieve the Messages feed, send an authenticated GET request to the following URL:

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/feeds/messages/

The response is a Messages feed. Each entry in the response feed represents a message sent to the Message Center about the site. The following is a typical entry for a verified site (http://www.example.com/), acknowledging a request to change the rate at which Google crawls the site.

<?xml version='1.0'?>
<atom:feed xmlns:atom='http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom' xmlns:openSearch='http://a9.com/-/spec/opensearchrss/1.0/'>
  <atom:id>http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/feeds/messages</atom:id>
  <atom:updated>2008-09-24T01:01:29.624Z</atom:updated>
  <atom:category scheme='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#kind' term='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/
	tools/2007#messages-feed'>
  </atom:category>
  <atom:title type='text'>Messages</atom:title>
  <atom:link rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#feed' type='application/atom+xml' 
	href='http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/feeds/messages'>
  </atom:link>
  <atom:link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/feeds/messages'>
  </atom:link>
  <openSearch:startIndex>1</openSearch:startIndex>
  <atom:entry>
    <atom:id>http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/feeds/messages/
AB9YKzKy-cxuP3jKPovozsi1ZQ6iFz5RJjMNlXxkVvVklU_dJ58iz5xG2bJPH3V-xaHPSrz1cvBCGpJ99Gn5KwVKnksi6iXZSA</atom:id>
    <atom:updated>2008-09-24T01:01:39.629Z</atom:updated>
    <atom:category scheme='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#kind' 
	term='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007#message'>
    </atom:category>
    <atom:title type='text'>Message</atom:title>
    <atom:link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/feeds/messages/
	AB9YKzKy-cxuP3jKPovozsi1ZQ6iFz5RJjMNlXxkVvVklU_dJ58iz5xG2bJPH3V-xaHPSrz1cvBCGpJ99Gn5KwVKnksi6iXZSA'>
    </atom:link>
    <atom:link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/feeds/messages/
	AB9YKzKy-cxuP3jKPovozsi1ZQ6iFz5RJjMNlXxkVvVklU_dJ58iz5xG2bJPH3V-xaHPSrz1cvBCGpJ99Gn5KwVKnksi6iXZSA'>
    </atom:link>
    <wt:read xmlns:wt='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007'>false</wt:read>
    <wt:date xmlns:wt='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007'>2008-09-18T20:49:57.108</wt:date>
    <wt:language xmlns:wt='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007' language='en'></wt:language>
    <wt:subject xmlns:wt='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007' 
	subject='Crawl rate change request for http://www.example.com/'>
    </wt:subject>
    <wt:body xmlns:wt='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007' body='We've received a 
	request from a site owner to change the rate at which Googlebot crawls this site: http://www.example.com/ 
	- Old crawl rate: Slower  - New crawl rate: Normal  This new crawl rate will stay in effect for 90 days.  
	A faster crawl will enable us to crawl your site more quickly, but may put more load on your server. 
	If you find that this is the case, you can change the crawl rate again:  
	1. On the Dashboard, select the site you want.  
	2. On the Dashboard, under Tools, click Crawl rate.'>
    </wt:body>
  </atom:entry>
</atom:feed>

Marking a message as read or unread

To mark a message as read or unread, create a blank entry with the ID of the message entry you wish to change, and add the read element. If the value is set to true, the message will be marked as read. If the value is false, the message will be marked as unread. Then submit an authenticated PUT request to the following URL, where /messages is followed by the message ID, encoded using URL encoding:

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/feeds/messages/
http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eegoogle%2Ecom%2Fwebmasters%2Ftools%2Ffeeds%2Fmessages%2FAB9YKzKy-cxuP3jKPovozsi1ZQ6iFz5RJj
MNlXxkVvVklU_dJ58iz5xG2bJPH3V-xaHPSrz1cvBCGpJ99Gn5KwVKnksi6iXZSA

The result will be an entry with the updated information. Here is a sample entry updating the status of a message to Read:

<atom:entry>
    <atom:id>http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/feeds/messages/
	AB9YKzKy-cxuP3jKPovozsi1ZQ6iFz5RJjMNlXxkVvVklU_dJ58iz5xG2bJPH3V-xaHPSrz1cvBCGpJ99Gn5KwVKnksi6iXZSA</atom:id>
    <atom:category scheme='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#kind' term='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/
	tools/2007#message'>
    </atom:category>
    <wt:read xmlns:wt='http://schemas.google.com/webmasters/tools/2007'>true</wt:read>
</atom:entry>

Deleting a message

You can delete messages from Message Center. Deleted messages will not appear in the Message Center in Google Webmaster Tools, or in the updated Messages feed. To delete a a message, send an authenticated DELETE request to the following URL, where the part after /messages/ is the encoded message ID:

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/feeds/messages/
http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eegoogle%2Ecom%2Fwebmasters%2Ftools%2Ffeeds%2Fmessages%2FAB9YKzKy-cxuP3jKPovozsi1ZQ6i
Fz5RJjMNlXxkVvVklU_dJ58iz5xG2bJPH3V-xaHPSrz1cvBCGpJ99Gn5KwVKnksi6iXZSA
.

If your request is successful, the server will return an an HTTP 200 (OK) status code.

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