If you are lucky you now have your sitemap. If not, let’s look at a manual check.
One way to find the sitemap is to try different common URLs. The most common sitemap location is at sitemap.xml. So by adding this to the end of the domain name, you can test to see if the sitemap exists:
If you get a 404 then the sitemap was not found and we can try another filename.
sitemap.xml is the most common but not the only one.
To get a list of other common sitemap filenames we looked at the sitemaps of 7000+ websites.
Here is a list of common filenames for the sitemap based on this research:
If none of these work add a capital letter for example, /Sitemap.xml. Try adding a capital to any of the filenames above.
If you still have nothing then let’s look at using Google Search.
Use Google Search
We can use some Google Search magic to search for XML files. We can also narrow down the search to a particular site.
To search the BBC for XML files we would use the search:
Doing this returns a sitemap:
If you get a lot of pages in the results, then you can narrow these down by searching for sitemap in the URL, like this:
site:example.com inurl:sitemap filetype:xml
Don’t forget that sitemaps can also be text files. Doing the same for Starbucks you can find the sitemap:
site:starbucks.com inurl:sitemap filetype:txt
The search above returns the sitemap:
If you still can’t find it let’s see if it is an RSS feed.
Find RSS Sitemap in Source
You can use an RSS feed as a sitemap and many blogs will create this file by default.
To find the files look at the source code of the HTML page.
For example, if we open the Chrome browser and go to the SpaceX News page. We can Inspect the page source by right-clicking the page and choosing the Inspect option.
If you are on the Elements tab you can search the code for:
application/rss+xml this shows that there is an RSS feed: