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In Google Webmaster Tools, Google Index -> Index Status shows 40 indexed pages:

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However Crawl > Sitemaps shows 5 indexed pages, and 35 submitted:

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There are no crawl errors in the sitemap.

Why are these numbers inconsistent? How many pages is Google actually indexing?

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You most likely have indexed pages that are not included in your sitemap.

Google Index -> Index Status - shows all pages that are indexed for your domain.

Crawl > Sitemaps - shows which pages were indexed from the sitemap you submitted

This is normal. However, if the number grows quite large for a small site you might have to plug a few holes using your robots.txt file. Here is some sample code:

User-agent:  *
Disallow: */personal-folder/

Also, keep in mind that GWT is not very accurate and information doesn't get updated at the same time.

  • Thanks for answering! I understand that not all submitted pages are indexed (and how robots.txt works) but I still don't see why it's saying 40 pages are indexed rather than 5 elsewhere in the UI. Also those 40 pages are all unique - ie, blog articles with large amounts of unique content, so I'm not sure why they're not being indexed. – mikemaccana Jan 6 '16 at 20:16
  • Because Index Status shows total # of pages indexed and Sitemap shows how many pages from your sitemap were indexed. – dasickle Jan 6 '16 at 20:20

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