Question: Why is Google not crawling my sitemap?


If you find that Google is not crawling your sitemap, this can be due to several reasons. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you identify and resolve common issues:

1. Check Sitemap Accessibility

Ensure that your sitemap is accessible and correctly formatted. Your sitemap must be in XML format and should be reachable via a URL. You can check your sitemap for errors by navigating to it in your web browser or using an online XML validator.

2. Submit Your Sitemap to Google Search Console

If you haven't already submitted your sitemap to Google Search Console, do so. This is a critical step because it informs Google of your sitemap's existence and encourages Google to crawl it.

  • Go to Google Search Console.
  • Select your property.
  • Click on 'Sitemaps' under the 'Index' section.
  • Enter the URL of your sitemap and click 'Submit'.

3. Review Search Console for Errors

After submission, monitor the sitemap status in Google Search Console. It will show if Google encountered any errors while processing your sitemap such as issues with URLs or the format of the sitemap itself. Attend to any errors or warnings reported there.

4. Check Robots.txt Rules

Your site’s robots.txt file could be blocking Googlebot from accessing your sitemap or some URLs within your sitemap. Verify that your robots.txt allows access to both your sitemap and all URLs contained within:

User-agent: *


Replace with the actual URL of your sitemap.

5. Ensure URLs in Sitemap are Crawlable

Make sure that URLs listed in your sitemap are not redirected or broken, and do not return server errors. Each URL should ideally return a 200 HTTP status code. Also, ensure that the URLs in the sitemap match the preferred URL structure (e.g., with www or without, HTTP or HTTPS).

6. Large Sitemap Issues

If your sitemap is very large, consider breaking it into smaller sitemaps. Google might struggle to load very large files efficiently. A good rule of thumb is to keep an individual sitemap below 50MB and under 50,000 URLs.

7. Review Frequency of Updates

Updating your sitemap frequently with new pages can encourage search engines to crawl more regularly. However, make sure not to resubmit your sitemap too frequently without actual updates to your website content, as this does not impact crawling.

By following these steps, you can diagnose why Google is not crawling your sitemap and take corrective action to ensure better visibility of your site in Google search results.

Other Common Google SEO Questions (and Answers)

© ContentForest™ 2012 - 2024