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Assuming a sitemap.xml has been registered properly to major players, do these players come and revisit those sitemap.xml from time to time to check for updates and modifications (say new entries are added or removed)?

In other words, it is really necessary to resubmit sitemap.xml once they know the URL? Or do we have to re-submit it each time there is a modification to it? Thanks.

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No need to resubmit. Most search engines will automatically look for website.com/sitemap.xml file (or will try to read such file name from robots.txt if such entry is present there). In any case -- there is no need to resubmit the file every time -- can be required to resubmit only if your site had problems with search engines (no indexing for long time, was blacklisted etc) – LazyOne Apr 20 '12 at 23:23
That comment should be an answer so we can upvote it – John Conde Apr 20 '12 at 23:47
up vote 5 down vote accepted

No, you do not need to resubmit your sitemap. Once you've submitted it once, Google (at least) will periodically reload it to check for updates. For example, in "sitemap details" for my site in Google Webmaster Tools, I see the following status:

"This Sitemap was submitted Dec 3, 2010, and processed Apr 21, 2012."

I can assure you that Google did not take 17 months just to process my sitemap once. :)

In fact, you don't need to explicitly submit your sitemap even once — all you need to do is include a Sitemap: directive in your robots.txt file. The next time any search engine that supports the sitemap protocol visits your site, they'll parse your robots.txt file, notice the sitemap URL and fetch it.

If you want to, you can also actively notify search engines when you update your sitemap. The sitemap protocol specifies a standard way to do that by sending an HTTP request to a "ping" URL. This may be useful if you want to minimize the delay before the updates are noticed.

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