I am currently using sitemap.txt (Type: URL List) in Google Search Console. I am not using XML, just have added URLs line by line in notepad & saved as sitemap.txt.

After uploading it to my site, I've submitted it to Google Search Console. But my webpages are not indexed yet.

Should I be using XML sitemaps to submit webpages swiftly?

  • 1
    Sitemaps are not at all necessary unless your site is extremely huge or have content behind a paywall or login. Otherwise, they will only be used by the search engines to audit that the site can be crawled properly. Generally, sitemaps serve no purpose for most sites.
    – closetnoc
    Commented Jul 9, 2017 at 6:45
  • Sitemaps don't help get your content indexed. They let Googlebot find the content, but Google still decides whether or not the content is worth indexing. If the only place that Google finds your content is through the sitemap, it probably isn't going to get indexed. See: Why aren't search engines indexing my content? Commented Jul 9, 2017 at 9:25
  • For more information about the limitations of sitemaps see: The Sitemap Paradox Commented Jul 9, 2017 at 9:25

1 Answer 1


It doesn't really matter whether you use simple .txt sitemaps or XML sitemaps; Google supports both. Although XML sitemaps do offer greater control and may be easier to manage on a larger site, or if you have different types of content, and text-only sitemaps may not be supported by other search engines.

But as already mentioned in comments, unless a site is hard to crawl in the first place, a sitemap (XML or plain text) is not strictly necessary to get indexed by the search engines. It is simply advisory - a method to allow URL discovery. Even if URLs are contained in a sitemap is no guarantee that they will be indexed. The sitemap itself is not a ranking factor.

However, a sitemap does have other benefits when used with GSC, as Google will report on the index state of just the URLs contained in a sitemap. You could, for instance, have multiple sitemaps for different parts of the site and see how different parts of the site are indexed, rather than only reporting on the whole.

  • ...Google will report on the index state of just the URLs contained in a sitemap... Only In regard to how Google uses the sitemap for auditing. This number almost never actually represents the number of URLs in the sitemap that are indexed. Instead, it reflects the number or URLs found indexed so far during this latest audit. It is a terrible metric and not one anyone should pay attention to.
    – closetnoc
    Commented Jul 9, 2017 at 16:16

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