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Google’s John Mueller says deleting a sitemap will not stop them from crawling your site




Google’s John Mueller is advising the site owners that deleting a sitemap will not prevent URLs from crawling in future. This topic came to the point of discussion in the latest episode of Youtube’s Ask Googlebot video series.

Mueller continues to address a question, asking if it is possible for turning off or deleting the sitemap from Google’s Search Console. However, deleting is possible. Also, it is not hard enough to do. But if the intention is regarding the stopping of Googlebot from crawling the URLs, then site owners have to employ other solutions.

For deleting a sitemap, one needs to start with logging into the Google Search Console. Then you have to continue with selecting the sitemaps residing at the side of the navigation menu. After that, click on the 3 dot menu from the right-hand corner and go on to select Remove sitemap.

Sitemaps can also get removed from the website. It will make its return to the 404 or 410 status code. Google will stop the usage of the sitemap. However, it will not stop crawling the site unless you are taking action.

Sitemaps assist Google along with the faster crawling for a site. However, it does not act as a directive for crawling or not crawling the URLs. A site can also get crawled without any of the sitemaps in it. Preventing Googlebot from the crawling of a site or with a specific URL calls for the use of the noindex tag from the robots.txt file.

The site owner who came up with the question to Mueller did not mention what they are hoping to achieve. They wanted to delete this current sitemap and upload a completely new and updated version.

However, deleting the existing sitemap is not at all necessary. Google Search Console supports multiple sitemap files. Site owners can also create a sitemap of the sitemaps for submitting them to the Search Console. Before removing a sitemap from the Search Console, you must ask yourself about what you want to gain from it. You can also find another solution that fits you better.

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