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We have been asked to generate sitemaps to assist robots indexing our site because we generate content dynamically. So far, we can create those maps just fine and they seem to pass XML validators just fine. However, we're concerned that we may have missed something that Google requires or is otherwise incompatible with Yahoo! and Bing. (For example, a missing element attribute.)

If we make our sitemaps live and the search engines find an issue, how would we learn about it?

Do Google, Bing and Yahoo! all email our webmaster@example.com address? Are there specific pages in their respective portals we should watch for errors? How can I assure my management that our site suddenly hasn't "gone dark?"

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  • Google, at least, will list errors within a sitemap in their Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools). This is usually pretty informative. – closetnoc Sep 23 '15 at 3:41
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There are a few search engines which have a management interface that address situations like this. They are normally named in the format of "(search engine name) webmaster tools". For example, in Google, theirs is called "Google Webmaster tools".

Simply sign up for a free account and upload your sitemap to them and in a few days, check the sitemap section to see what the search engine thinks of your sitemap. Google will even tell you if the sitemap format is incorrect and it also has a page (crawl errors page) that tells you what URLs have problems if any.

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