What happens if you find errors in your sitemap? Let’s examine common errors and what you can do about them.
Creating and submitting your sitemap is pretty simple these days, there are even sitemap generators that can help with this, but you still may run into an error message. These are pretty common and are often easily fixable. Once fixed, you can resubmit your sitemap to Google’s Search Console.
Most error messages will refer to just one or two URL’s on your sitemap, but your entire sitemap may be rejected due to these simple errors. The best way to avoid errors is to double-check and confirm your sitemap URLs and tags before submitting them to Google. If you are still met with an error message, these solutions can help you resolve them.
This simply means your sitemap file couldn’t be uncompressed by Google, very common if you’re submitting a .zip file. To fix this error, review your sitemap for any errors then compress it again and upload the revised version.
This will happen if your sitemap is empty or the URL’s are not properly tagged. First, check to make sure your file isn’t empty. Then, make sure each URL is properly tagged. If you’re not sure how to do this, there are plenty of online resources to help you create sitemap tags for your URLs.
A namespace is a variety of names that you can use as attributes and elements of an XML file when tagging your URLs. When you specify the namespace, you’re letting Google know what kind of data is contained in the sitemap.
The solution is simple, give your sitemap another look and check that the namespace is correctly specified. Once fixed, resubmit your sitemap.
This means your sitemap couldn’t be processed or that Google’s bots found an HTTP error. Some errors, like 404, are critical, but others just show temporary errors like a problem with your server.
Confirm your URLs are correct and available at the location you indicated. Once you’ve confirmed everything, simply resubmit.
Errors can certainly slow down your submission process, but it’s worth the time to fix them right away and resubmit your sitemap. Leaving errors unfixed can result in the pages with problems not being indexed in Google, meaning they won’t show in search results.
Since the purpose of submitting your sitemap to Google, or any search engine, is to have your pages found, it’s worth the effort to resolve any errors as quickly as possible.
Take the time to fix common errors in your sitemap and you will be rewarded by Google.