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When I submit our sitemap to GSC (https://periperielectrical.com.au/sitemap_index.xml) Google reports that 22,065 URLs have been discovered.

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I've been through the sitemap myself and can see around 100 URLs.

Why is Google reporting such a high number of URLs?

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  • I don't even see 100 URLs. That sitemap is generated via Yoast SEO - is the plugin up-to-date? Could be a GSC bug too. What happens if you submit each of the sitemaps in sitemap_index individually? Oct 6 at 14:29
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    One possibility is that your site is hacked. The hacker could be adding URLs to the sitemap and serving that modified version only to Googlebot. Can you run "inspect URL" in Google Search Console on your sitemap URLs with the "live test" option? This would show what content Googlebot is seeing in your sitemap. Oct 7 at 9:08

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