I'm running a site which allows users to create subdomains. I'd like to submit these user subdomains to search engines via sitemaps. However, according to the sitemaps protocol (and Google Webmaster Tools), a single sitemap can include URLs from a single host only.

What is the best approach?

At the moment I've the following structure:

  1. Sitemap index located at that lists sitemaps for each subdomain (but located at the same host).
  2. Each subdomain has its own sitemap located at (this way the sitemap index includes URLs from a single host only).
  3. A sitemap for a subdomain contains URLs from the subdomain only, i.e.,*
  4. Each subdomain has file:


User-agent: *
Allow: /



I think this approach complies to the sitemaps protocol, however, Google Webmaster Tools give errors for subdomain sitemaps: "URL not allowed. This url is not allowed for a Sitemap at this location."

I've also checked how other sites do it. Eventbrite, for instance, produces sitemaps that contain URLs from multiple subdomains (e.g., see This, however, does not comply with the sitemaps protocol.

What approach do you recommend for sitemaps?

+1  A: 

hi, ok

yes, the subdomain restriction is in the spec.


google has put some exceptions in place

1) verify all subdomains within your google webmaster tools account cross-submission of sitemaps XML via google wembaster tools - if submitted via the root of your domain - will not throw errors for google

2) within the robots.txt of a subdomain you can point to sitemaps XML on other domains. there will be no cross submission errors - for google

1) I can't do that for each user subdomain. 2) As you can see in my question, I already have robots.txt file with an appropriate Sitemaps line. It doesn't help though - Google Webmaster Tools still throw errors.
This might be because the webmaster tool doesn't download robots.txt file when the sitemap is submitted, but only during its normal crawl process...
did you check the "all" tab of the google webmaster tools sitemaps report. the sitemap you submit via google webmaster tools will be invalid, but not the sitemaps behind the "all" tab (which lists the robots.txt submitted sitemaps, too)

Yes it is restricted. You need to create different sitemaps for each. To do that you can use online sitemap tool