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Google Search Console Crawl and Sitemap Errors

Google diagnostic tools can sometimes report crawling errors including "404 not found". These are often caused by external factors not related to XML sitemaps.

Search Console Shows Confusing Crawl Errors

Many people submit generated XML sitemaps directly to Google Search Console. However, when viewing diagnostics for website URLs and sitemaps, you will sometimes see mysterious problems being reported.


Warnings or Errors in XML Sitemaps

When viewing the list of submitted sitemaps, you can see if any of them have issues. It is important to note that all problems will cause significant problems for Google when crawling your website and XML sitemap file.

It is possible to see details about the errors by clicking the sitemap file in the list. This was possible even back when Google Search Console was called Google Webmaster Tools:

google tools sitemaps list


404 Not Found Errors for URLs

An error often reported for URLs is 404 : Not Found. You may get such errors even if your website has no internal linking errors and your XML sitemap is 100% correct:

google tools diagnostics webcrawl

Google follows links from websites all over the internet and remembers these for quite a long time. In our experience, this means that if some website at some point in time has linked to a non-existing page at your website, Google will keep reporting this as an error for a long time.

Examples of how incorrect links to your website can occur on external websites:
  • Someone posted and mistyped a link to your website on a forum.
  • You posted a link on a website which incorrectly shortened it.


301/302 Redirect Errors in XML Sitemap

Your generated XML sitemaps can not contain URLs that redirect if you want Google sitemap tools to accept them. This includes error codes 301 : Moved Permanently, 302 : Found and 302 : Moved Temporarily.

Tip: A1 Sitemap Generator never includes URLs that redirect unless explicitly configured so. Instead it will include the redirect destination URLs.
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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.
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