Accessing Google Webmaster Tools
You tell Google about your new sitemap in Google's Webmaster tools. If you don't have a Google account, you'll need to set one up. Then you'll need to add your site to your account and validate it. Don't worry; it won't take long.
- Use your Web browser to visit
Google's Webmaster Central
Figure 4 Google's Webmaster Central has a bunch of resources for Webmasters and bloggers.
- Click the Webmaster tools link.
- On the Webmaster Tools page, log in with your Google account. If you don't have an account, now's the time to create one. Click the Create a Google Account link and follow the instructions that appear onscreen and in e-mail to set up your account. Then log in and continue following these instructions.
- If you have not yet added a Web site to the Webmaster Tools, you'll see
a screen like the one in Figure 5. Enter the URL of your blog in the Add Site
box and click OK.
Figure 5 Use this screen to add your blog to Google's Webmaster Tools.
- In the Summary screen that appears, click the Verify your Site link.
- You have two choices for verifying your site. If you choose the Add a META
tag option, you'll be given some HTML code to insert in the <HEAD>
section of the home page of your site. If you choose the Upload an HTML file
option, you'll have to create a file with the name Google provides and
upload it to your blog's root directory using an FTP client (or network
connection, if available). Either way, you're proving to Google that you
have access to the site's content. Choose the method that works best for
you and be sure to click the Verify button once you've either modified the
home page (index.php) or uploaded the specially named file. When verification is
complete, you should see a check mark beside the site name in the Webmaster
Tools dashboard. Figure 7 shows an example with three verified sites.
Figure 6 One way to verify a site is to upload an HTML file with a specific name.
Figure 7 Here's what my Google account looks like with three verified sites. One already has a sitemap.