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I have potentially a sitemap issue on my website.

In GSC, all my pages went from ‘submitted and indexed’ to ‘indexed, but not in sitemap’ overnight.

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If I do a live test of any page, it says ‘Sitemap: N/A’ and ‘Referring page: None.’

My website is on WordPress and I use Yoast SEO for sitemaps.

I’m not sure why this happened.

  • The sitemap is available in a live test.
  • You can visit it in the browser and through GSC.
  • It has not changed.
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    Did your sitemap change? Is it still available if you visit its URL? Is it still listed in Google Search Console? Can you inspect it and make sure Google can download it in a live test? Jun 12 at 10:04

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It appears that for whatever reason, Google suddenly is choosing to index some alternate version of your URLs which isn't the one that you list in your sitemap. This is unlikely to hurt your site or your SEO. As long as some version of each page is indexed, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

That being said, you should check that you didn't make recent redirect or canonical tag changes that conflict with your sitemap. Your XML sitemap should list your preferred URLs. Those URLs shouldn't redirect or have canonical tags that point to other pages. If you have redirects or canonical tags for https or www, make sure that the XML sitemap agrees with them.

You should also check that your site uses the canonical links in all internal links. Have alternate URLs in internal links can also cause Google to index different URL versions.

On the other hand, Google sometimes makes weird decisions about which of your URLs are canonical, and there is not much that you can do about it. Google doesn't always index your preferred canonical URLs, especially right after making changes. It can take Google many months or even more than a year to come around to agreeing to index the URLs you choose as canonical, even if all your signals (sitemap, redirects, canonical tags, and internal links) are in agreement.

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  • My host did add something to my htaccess file to force https. Could this be it? RewriteEngine On RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !=on RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301] Jun 12 at 22:02
  • If your site map has all HTTP urls, then that would explain it. If that's the case you should regenerate your site map with https urls. That might be a matter of changing the site URL in your WordPress config Jun 12 at 22:54
  • The sitemap and WordPress config all have https://www. So that's probably not it, right? Jun 13 at 4:54
  • Sounds fine. Either Google used to be indexing something else and hasn't read the updated sitemap, or Google suddenly decided to index the wrong thing. I think it should eventually resolve itself. Jun 13 at 9:18
  • Ok, let’s wait it out! Thanks :) Jun 13 at 10:36

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