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My sitemap index file does not show any errors on google search console, but it only shows 397 discovered urls whereas it should have been over a million. Wrong number

Basically my sitemap index file looks like this:


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<sitemapindex xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9">
  <sitemap><loc>https://www.example.com/sitemap1</loc><lastmod>2020-09-14T04:38:25Z</lastmod></sitemap>
  <sitemap><loc>https://www.example.com/sitemap2</loc></sitemap>
  <sitemap><loc>https://www.example.com/sitemap3</loc></sitemap>
  <sitemap><loc>https://www.example.com/sitemap4</loc></sitemap>
  <sitemap><loc>https://www.example.com/sitemap5</loc></sitemap>
  ... (614 sitemap entries in total)
</sitemapindex>

What can be wrong? Do I have too many <sitemap> entries?

edit: This was actually working, I had over a million discovered URLs, then I added like 200 <sitemap> entries to the sitemap.xml and it "broke", meaning it started showing only 397 discovered URLs for the sitemap (coverage is unaffected).

Update: I reduced sitemap count to 450 and google started crawling 33 sitemaps in the index. Still not crawling all child sitemaps though.

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  • How long ago did you submit this index file? It always takes days for the counts to add up correctly. We've had some people report that it sometimes takes months. See Google says my sitemap index was “processed successfully”, yet “total discovered URLs” is 0 for example. Dec 5 '20 at 19:13
  • You should also read The Sitemap Paradox. XML sitemaps can give you good stats in Google Search Console but they don't usually help SEO. Dec 5 '20 at 19:16
  • This was actually working, i had over a million discovered URLs, then i added like 200 <sitemap> entries and it "broke" and became 397 discovered URLs.
    – Behlül
    Dec 5 '20 at 22:55
  • So the problem is just with the sitemap related reporting. You're pages are indexed fine? Dec 6 '20 at 1:10
  • Yes, they seem to be still getting crawled although I can't tell exactly if they are found by links from site or by sitemap.
    – Behlül
    Dec 6 '20 at 4:22
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In addition to Stephen's reading suggestion above, it has been my experience that Google's count of files in the sitemap rarely matches the total number of files on the site.

In my case, GSC only shows the count that existed when I first published my sitemap over four years ago. Meanwhile, every page that Google finds using other means like links and manual submission through GSC, rarely if ever add to the count GSC shows for the sitemap. While the a few pages shown in the report may change, the count is unreliable.

If I were to wager a guess, it might be that Google's count only changes when it finds a page via the sitemap that it couldn't find any other way.

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