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I recently removed an SEO plugin from my WP site and replaced it with Yoast. I made some other changes to the site as well, adding no-index to my category pages.

I just tried inspecting the new Yoast sitemap on Google Search Console but was told it contained a no-index tag. Where did this come from? How do I remove it? It wasn't there on XML sitemap generated by the previous seo plugin.

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Because it is an XML file, the sitemap doesn't support meta tags. Instead it is technically an HTTP header:

X-Robots-Tag: noindex

You don't want to remove it that header. It prevents the XML sitemap itself from appearing in search results, it doesn't prevent the URLs listed in it from getting indexed.

If you don't put a noindex in, the sitemap itself could appear in search results. It isn't meant for users to see, and users get really confused if they actually click to it. See Prevent XML sitemaps from showing up in Google search results

It doesn't make much sense to use the URL inspection tool on the sitemap itself. Rather you should be inspecting a few of the URLs that are listed in the sitemap.

  • I see. I could swear I used the inspection tool on the previous sitemap but maybe I'm confusing it with something else. Your response certainly makes a lot of sense and I appreciate the info. Thanks. – Rich May 8 at 0:11

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