This has been driving me crazy for a while now, and the only way to stop being driven crazy may be to write about it. Before I go further, you should know where I stand on XML Sitemaps: They’re not necessary for most web sites, especially for most simple, small business web sites. I wrote why at length in this popular post from last summer:
Okay, so with that out of the way, this is what drives me crazy:
You may recognize that as a screenshot from Google Webmaster Tools, which provides all kinds of good information about your web site and how Google sees it.
GWC is a Good Thing. It shows you URL errors, HTTP errors, “not found” errors, and much more. That yellow “alert” icon gets your attention — Hey! There’s something wrong! Gotta fix this!
But they show the same yellow alert icon if you haven’t submitted an XML sitemap. Not having an XML Sitemap is not an error. If Google wants to recommend sitemaps to GWC users, that’s cool. Just come up with some kind of “recommended” icon instead of the current “this is a mistake” icon.
There. I feel so much better already. Thanks.