I have launched a new website recently, that was built on WordPress. I made all the required SEO settings using All In One Seo Pack and submitted the sitemap URL to my Google Search Console account. But all I’ve got was a “Couldn’t fetch” status. When I got into details page it was showing   “Sitemap could not be read” error. When you see an error like this, there can be many issues behind this. In this post, I will show you how to troubleshoot your sitemap.xml errors for Google Search Console.


Troubleshooting Sitemap Errors on GSC

  1. Check if your sitemap is generated successfully by manually entering sitemap URL. That is generally //example.com/sitemap.xml. If you see your sitemap on the browser, proceed to next step. If you don’t see it, however (possibly getting a 404 error), make sure you enabled your sitemap plugin, configured sitemap settings correctly and also make sure your sitemap URL is correct. Some plugins use default sitemap.xml as filename while others use sitemap_index.xml.
  2. Check if your sitemap is valid using one of the sitemap validators online like Yandex Sitemap Validator or XML Sitemap Validator. If you get a “No errors found” or “Sitemap is valid” message, this means that your sitemap is accessible by others and has a valid sitemap format.
  3. Check if Google Bot can access your sitemap using “Inspect any URL” box on top of the Search Console. The initial test will fail because sitemap.xml is not allowed to be indexed (is not visible on search results). Just go ahead and click on “Test Live URL” to get a live version of the file. On the results you should check this line: Page fetch : Successful. If you don’t get this result, this means that your sitemap is not accessible by Google Bot. It can be an htaccess issue or robots.txt file misconfiguration. If you get a successful result, proceed to next step.

  4. Well, If you have come this far, this means that “it’s not you, it’s Google”. You don’t need to do anything at all but just wait. Google Search Console reporting is coming 3-4 days behind which is totally natural considering all the data it is handling. The sitemap problem most probably needs some time and then it will change status automatically.

I hope this troubleshooter helped you to solve this issue. If your issue was not solved, please share the details on the discussion page. If you liked this article, don’t forget to tweet or share it with your friends! Cheers.

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