Deleting a Sitemap Won’t Stop Us Crawling Your Site

Google’s John Mueller advises web site homeowners that deleting a sitemap received’t stop URLs from being crawled sooner or later.

This matter is mentioned within the newest episode of the Ask Googlebot video sequence on YouTube.

Mueller addresses a query asking if it’s potential to show off or delete a sitemap from Google Search Console.

Deleting a sitemap is feasible, and it’s not onerous to do both, but when the intention is to cease Googlebot from crawling the URLs then web site homeowners should make use of a completely different resolution.

How to Delete a Sitemap From Google Search Console

To delete a sitemap, begin by logging into Google Search Console and deciding on Sitemaps from the aspect navigation menu.

Google: Deleting a Sitemap Won’t Stop Us Crawling Your Site

Then click on on the three-dot menu on the high right-hand nook and choose Remove sitemap.

Google: Deleting a Sitemap Won’t Stop Us Crawling Your Site

That’s all there’s to it. Sitemaps can be faraway from the web site itself, which might trigger it to return a 404 or 410 standing code.


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Google will cease utilizing the sitemap file, however it received’t cease crawling the location until additional motion is taken.

Sitemaps help Google with crawling a web site quicker and extra effectively, however it doesn’t act as a directive to crawl or not crawl URLs. In idea a web site may be crawled with none sitemap in any respect.

Preventing Googlebot from crawling a web site, or particular URLs inside a web site, requires the usage of a noindex tag within the robots.txt file.

The web site proprietor who submitted the query to Mueller didn’t point out what they hope to realize from deleting their sitemap. Perhaps they needed to delete the present sitemap and add an up to date model.


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If that’s the case, then deleting the prevailing sitemap isn’t needed as Google Search Console helps a number of sitemap information. Site homeowners may even create a sitemap of sitemaps and submit that to Search Console.

Before eradicating a sitemap from Search Console, or from the location itself, ask your self what you hope to achieve from it. There could also be one other resolution that’s a higher match, or the sitemap might not must be deleted within the first place.

For extra, see the complete video beneath:

Partial transcript:

“This one is pretty easy, but only once you’ve seen it. In order to remove a sitemap in the new Search Console you go to the sitemaps menu, then you click on the sitemaps file there, and then click on the dot-dot-dot menu in the top left and select “remove sitemap.” By doing this Google will cease monitoring the sitemap file in Search Console.

Alternately you’ll be able to simply take away the sitemap file out of your web site in order that it returns both a 404 or a 410 HTTP consequence code, which principally simply implies that the file isn’t out there. Over time, Google’s methods will cease attempting to make use of that specific sitemap file.

Note: eradicating a sitemap file doesn’t stop crawling of the URLs that have been specified within the sitemap file. A sitemap file helps us to crawl extra effectively although, which is usually why we suggest utilizing it. In explicit, a sitemap file helps us to seek out new and up to date pages barely quicker, which is all the time a good factor, proper?”


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