Our Joomla! extension Aimy Sitemap includes a feature to notify search engines on updates of the sitemap and/or on content changes.

In 2022 Bing dropped support for XML sitemap pings in favor of the IndexNow protocol. Aimy Sitemap supports this protocol using an additional plugin (Aimy IndexNow).

At the beginning of 2024 Google dropped the support for XML sitemap pings as well.

So in Aimy Sitemap you can currently only notify IndexNow.org.

What can you do instead? How to handle that situation?

Add a Sitemap field to your robots.txt file

One way to inform Google about your sitemap is to add a Sitemap field to your website's robots.txt file. This file is a standard used on websites to tell web crawlers and bots which parts of the website they are allowed or not allowed to visit.

Just add a line like the following to your robots.txt file:

Sitemap: https://your-domain.com/sitemap.xml

In Aimy Sitemap you can use "Edit robots.txt" and press the button "Add Sitemap field" (which has been added in version 33.0). Aimy Sitemap will add an appropriate line for your website to the robots.txt file for you.

Add Sitemap field to a robots.txt file using Aimy Sitemap

Use the Search Console

Google recommends to use the Google Search Console (GSC) to submit a sitemap once. Afterwards Google's crawler will know about your website's XML sitemap and will automatically visit it from time to time to pick up changes.

If you are working on SEO, GSC is also a useful tool for other tasks and insights. So if you do not use the Search Console yet, it is time to start.

If you made an account and verified your property, you can submit your sitemap easily: Just choose "sitemaps" from the menu, enter the path to the sitemap and submit it.

Where to submit an XML sitemap in GSC

The ping function in the notification tab of Aimy Sitemap was to inform Google about an update of the sitemap. But if your website is once known to Google, the bot will automatically check for updates regularly, even if you do not send pings any longer:

GSC: Sitemap submitted successfully
GSC shows when an XML sitemap has been submitted and read recently

So even if the option to ping Google on sitemap updates is no longer available, you can be sure that Google reads your sitemap and will notice updates. Log in to your Search Console from time to time to check for details.