Google Sitemaps Toolbox

Google has recently release in beta Google Sitemaps, a way to inform Google robots about your web site. To use Google Sitemaps, you must create some XML files with all your URLs and download them into Google Sitemaps web site. But, it's not easy to create and maintain such a file manually. Google Sitemaps Toolbox is a toolbox dedicated to webmasters that want to create, view, publish, control, manage and debug Google Sitemaps. The first tool of Google Sitemaps Toolbox is Google Sitemaps Stylesheets (GSS), an XSL stylesheet to view Google sitemaps files in a user-friendly way.

Google Sitemaps Stylesheet

Normally Google Sitemaps are pure maschine-readable xml text - but not very human friendly. When using Google sitemaps stylesheets this is now also human-friendly. Participating in this is very easy, there is just one line that has to be added at each Google sitemaps file and a file that has to be stored somewhere on your website. That's it.

This page describes what you have to do to use it and what you can you once it's installed.

The initial version has been developed by Baccou Bonneville, updates have been by Johannes Müller and Tobias Kluge. This project is now available on

Installation of Google Sitemaps Stylesheet

To view the Google Sitemaps files human-friendly (and not only computer-friendly) you just have to download the xslt (a file that describes how the browser should display the content of the Google sitemaps files) and copy it somewhere on your website.

Then you have to add one line into the sitemaps file.

<?xml-stylesheet type="text/xsl" href="gss.xsl"?>
directly under
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
In this case the gss.xsl file has been copied into the same directory where the Google sitemaps files are stored. If this is not the case you have to modify the value after href=" - you could easily add the absolute url of the gss.xsl file on your website. But for security reasons many browsers have the restriction that these have to be stored under the same domain as the Google sitemaps files are stored.

Usage of Google Sitemaps Stylesheet

Google Sitemaps Index files

If you're looking into a sitemaps index file you'll see the sitemaps files and the last modification date of each file - you can sort the list and when clicking on a sitemaps file this file is opened in the browser. You can have a demo of a sitemap index file (from Baccou Bonneville web site) by clicking here.

Google Sitemaps files

You can sort the entries of the sitemaps file depending on filename, last modification date, priority or change frequency. You can have a look at a sitemaps index file used by here.