Removal of Google Sites sitemap documentation

Google Sites removed documentation on creating sitemaps in Google Sites. Google updated its documentation on March 1, 2021 to indicate that Google Sites does not automatically generate sitemaps. It is not known how long ago the sitemap creation feature was removed.

Sitemaps for Google Sites

Sitemaps are a way of providing Google with an XML file that helps it discover web pages. Sitemaps are ideal for large sites, especially sites that can be complex.

Using sitemaps can be especially useful for sites that tend to generate article archives. A sitemap is especially useful for news sites.

A news site that constantly produces new content may not have a robust menu strategy for creating internal links to deeply archived older articles. A sitemap solves this problem by giving search engines a way to crawl and discover archived content.

Sitemaps are not necessary for web pages under five hundred pages in which the content is normally interconnected and easily discoverable.

According to Google:

“You may not need a sitemap if:

Your site is “small”. By small, we mean around 500 pages or less on your site. (Only pages that you think should be in search results count towards this total.)”

Google removed the text about creating a sitemap

Google’s developer page on the sitemap once had a section dedicated to Google Sites.

Archive.org (aka The Wayback Machine) archived content that was removed, which included step-by-step instructions on how to add sitemaps from Google Sites.

Google leaves no instructions for sitemaps

Google’s updated sitemap developer page leaves no instructions on how to create a sitemap specific to Google Sites.

This is what the Google Sites instructions showed:

Screenshot of the Google developer page for Google Sites sitemaps

Clicking on the “+” sign gives you the following instructions for adding sitemaps.

Removed instructions on how to add sitemaps in Google Sites

Google Sites
If you used Google Sites to create and verify a site, Google Sites will automatically generate a sitemap for you. You can’t edit the sitemap, but you can submit it to Google if you want to read data from the sitemap report. Note that your sitemap may not display correctly if you have more than 1,000 pages in a single subdirectory.

If your site is hosted on Google Sites, your sitemap URL is http://sites.google.com/site/yoursitename/system/feeds/sitemap
If you created your site using Google Workspace, your sitemap URL is https://sites.google.com/yourdomain/yoursitename/system/feeds/sitemap”

Here’s a screenshot of how the current Google Developer page for sitemaps looks, now missing instructions for generating Google Sites sitemaps:

Screenshot of the current Google Developer page for sitemaps

Screenshot of the current Google Developers Sitemaps page

As you can see above, the content is completely absent.

It’s unclear how long this feature has been gone. But the documentation makes it very clear that Google Sites doesn’t have a native sitemap generator tool.

Quotes

Google Sitemap Developer Page Archive

Google Sitemap Developer Page Update

Sam D. Gomez