I am using Google XML Sitemap plugin for my WordPress website.

I have the option to submit only posts, only categories, or both which update weekly, daily, or monthly. Which combination is healthier for a news website? From personal experience, I use only categories, but I don't know if I'm on the right track?

When I do so and check out Google Search Console I see for I included 40 categories in the sitemap but only 12 are indexed by Google. What does this really mean?


3 Answers 3


You shouldn't use that plugin because it doesn't includes a require tags for news sitemap. For news sitemap simply do a quick search like this "Wordpress news sitemap" on your plugin directory and you will find many plugins for that, here is one example.

Based on Google news sitemap guidelines your sitemap should include only fresh article(blog post), you don't require to add categories permalinks in news sitemap.

I included 40 categories in the sitemap but only 12 are indexed by Google. What does this really mean?

The data on search console is not real time, it means if Google index your content right now, then it will take some time to show that index data on search console account. It can takes many days as well. Your categories will index automatically (Without sitemap, because it is linked from every post and Google will crawl that) in few days, if it is not blocked under robots.txt or does not contain any noindex meta tags.

  • so do you suggest any other plugin or manually generating the sitemap? Aug 21, 2017 at 5:59
  • I am not using wp anymore, so I can't add more value. But feel free to search on their plugin directory and see weather any plugins include such a tag or not.
    – Goyllo
    Aug 21, 2017 at 8:36
  • It looks like the plugin that he is using doesn't create a "news" sitemap, it creates a regular sitemap for a website. The forums say that it doesn't support the news sitemap: wordpress.org/support/topic/sitemap-news-support Aug 21, 2017 at 9:27
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    Yes, but your answer isn't relevant to the question that he is actually asking. He is worried about general Google indexing. Aug 21, 2017 at 9:41
  • 3
    You could preface your answer with "You shouldn't use that plugin because it doesn't do news sitemaps. If you actually have a news website, you should find a plugin that does sitemaps for inclusion in Google news." Then at least your answer wouldn't be 100% off-base. Aug 21, 2017 at 9:42

be sure that the plugins that you already installed on your site doesn't have conflict to creating sitemap. for example if you are using yoast seo plugin and google xml plugin together it could makes problems.

have the option to submit only posts, only categories, or both

I think it doesn't hurts if you submit categories and posts together url to the sitemap file.

for submiting sitemap file you should sign in to the google webmaster tools and enter your sitemap url and submit it to google. and from this tool you can see if your site has a problem.


If only 12 out of 40 categories are indexed, it means that Google doesn't think that 28 of those pages have enough important content to index.

I actually do the opposite of what you mentioned. I want Google to fully index my content pages, and since the category pages usually only contain thin content and/or snippets of the full pages anyway, I tell Google not to index them. Depending on your site however, this may not be the best strategy.

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