We went to our sitemaps and discovered a fall in the number of indexed pages, while the submitted pages remained more or less the same.

Some sitemaps look like this now:

In the following sitemap the submitted pages went up, while the indexed pages has gone down:

And in some sitemaps the pages seem unaffected:

It could be a website problem where our pages are not accessible to Google. Could someone confirm that this isn't google playing around? Or that we aren't being penalised. This has never happened to us.

Also our search traffic has been actually going up for the past few months, so this is surprising.


This Question was posted on the 13th of May 2016.

This article came out on the 13th of May 2016: https://www.seroundtable.com/index-counts-in-google-sitemaps-reporting-drop-22078.html

Seems like there might be a Google Bug.

  • Is the canonical URLs different to the sitemap URLs? We have a situation like that in Shopify where our product URLs have a different canonical URL than those in the auto-submitted sitemap - so we only have 9/2000 'indexed' which is by design.
    – inkovic
    May 13, 2016 at 8:27
  • @inkovic No that does not seem to be the case. :/
    – CP3O
    May 13, 2016 at 10:01
  • Cause every single one of your page is pure spam. At least that's my guess based on the information provided.
    – Rob
    May 13, 2016 at 13:51
  • Likely this : seroundtable.com/…
    – user29671
    May 13, 2016 at 16:00
  • 1
    As it is, users can only offer guesses as to possible causes. If you can edit this to add more details that they can base their answers on, then it will be added back to the review queue for reopening.
    – dan
    May 14, 2016 at 0:51

1 Answer 1


This happened to my website once. I have submitted about 80K URLs and Google indexed about 72K URLS. Later it slowly removed most of the pages. What I found is that the pages which I have submitted has thin content. And also, Poor architecture might be secondary reason.

So check if all pages having unique and sufficient content and resubmit.

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