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Create Image Sitemaps with XML Sitemap Generator

Create image sitemaps if you have a website with images and graphics. Learn how to build image sitemaps with A1 Sitemap Generator.
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 To see all the options available, you will have to switch off easy mode 

 With options that use a dropdown list, any [+] or [-] button next to adds or removes items in the list itself 

Building The Image Sitemap

If you run a website that has lots of content in the form of images, you will want to create an image sitemap.

The good news is that creating image sitemaps for Google and other search engines is much like when you create standard XML sitemaps.

A1 Sitemap Generator comes with various configuration presets that sets all options for image sitemaps:
  • Quick presets | Google image sitemap
  • Quick presets | Google image sitemap - website has images hosted externally

Which to choose depends on if you host images on external subdomains/domains or not.

scan website image sitemap.png

When the website crawl has finished, all you need to do is creating the actual image sitemap file in XML for Google. Do this simply by selecting the correct sitemap file kind before you build sitemap:

build google image sitemap

You have now created your image sitemap. This process will work for most websites with only very few needing further configuration.


Avoid Excluding Folders with Images in Robots.txt

Note: As the default configuration in our software is to obey disallow instructions in robots.txt files, you will want to make sure you are not excluding it from accessing image folders in your website. If unsure, check the following help page for an in-depth explanation regarding the robots text file.


Optimize Options for Improved Image Sitemaps

Even when using the preset button, you can sometimes still benefit from fine tuning options yourself aftewards.

In output filters you can configure the following website scan options:
  • Exclude pages and images you do not want to influence your image sitemap. This is useful if many pages use the same image.
  • If you use non standard image file extensions and MIME types, you can add these, so the crawler can recognize them during the website scan.

You can also control how the image sitemaps are built using options:
  • Create sitemap | XML sitemap extensions | Google image sitemaps | Ensure each image is only listed once


Submit Image Sitemaps in Google Webmaster Tools

After submitting to Google Webmaster Tools, you will often have wait a few days for Google to start indexing images. You can view image sitemap details in Google Webmaster Tools by clicking on the image sitemap. See the example shown in the screenshot below:

google tools image sitemap

Do note that Google Webmaster Tools has had quirks in the past where it reported the count of <loc>...</loc> and not the actual number of submitted images in <image:image>...</image:image>. One such case was in March 2011:
Above is easy to verify by creating an image sitemap of one URL containing two images. Google Webmaster Tools will only report one URL. It will not report count of images. Here is an example:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9" xmlns:image="http://www.google.com/schemas/sitemap-image/1.1">
  <url>
    <loc>http://www.example.com/</loc>
    <priority>1.0</priority>
    <image:image>
      <image:loc>http://www.example.com/1.png</image:loc>
      <image:title>image 1 title</image:title>
      <image:caption>image 1 caption</image:caption>
    </image:image>
    <image:image>
      <image:loc>http://www.example.com/2.png</image:loc>
      <image:title>image 2 title</image:title>
      <image:caption>image 2 caption</image:caption>
    </image:image>
  </url>
</urlset>

Some sitemap generator tools (not A1 Sitemap Generator) will try to artificially increase the reported number of URLs in Google Webmaster Tools for image sitemaps by simply inserting lots of page URLs <loc></loc> with no associated images <image:loc></image:loc>.

Therefore, to compare image sitemap tools and the number of included images, you can try perform a search/replace of <image:loc> in the generated XML image sitemap files. Most text editors gives you a count of found/replaced text items.

Note A1 Sitemap Generator tries to leave out images used as part of the website layout. It does so to obey Google guidelines for image sitemaps.
This help page is maintained by

As one of the lead developers, his hands have touched most of the code in the software from Microsys.

If you email any questions, chances are that he will be the one answering them.
A1 Sitemap GeneratorAbout A1 Sitemap Generator

Build all kinds of sitemaps including text, visual HTML / CSS, RSS, XML, image, video, news and mobile for all your websites no matter the platform they use.
     
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