Google Sitemap Contains an Invalid URL

Has this ever happened to you?

I went to Google Webmaster Tools today, and found out that my sitemap had a Big Red X in it.

When I first installed Google XML Sitemaps it worked perfectly until today. After spending a couple of hours trying to find the answer to why a Red X was being displayed;  I figured it out on my own.

 

Here is what you do if you are using WordPress:

  • Scroll down to performance towards the bottom left side of your dashboard and click Page Cache
  • Scroll down towards bottom of Page Cache and look for Cache Reload
  • Make sure that your site url has www in it because mine didn’t for some reason
  • Type in  www.yoursitename.com/sitemap.xml
  • It should now look like this: http://www.yoursitename.com/sitemap.xml
  • Click save changes
  • Go to General Settings and make sure that WordPress site url and site address url has www in it
  • Save Changes ( this should fix it)
  • Letters are case-sensitive, lower case on WordPress then use lower case on Google Webmasters Tools.
  • On WordPress I had Mazzastick.com, but on Webmaster Tools it was mazzastick.com; one was upper case and the other was lower case.
  • Go back to Google Webmaster Tools and re-submit

What I found out is that your submitted url to Google Webmaster Tools has to be like this: http://www.yoursitename.com/sitemap.xml

Mine looked like this http://mysitename.com/sitemap without the www. What you are doing is making sure that the link to your website is exactly the same as the one on Google Webmasters tools. If they are not exactly alike then you will get the big fat Red X. Remember that all letters are case-sensitive.

After doing the above procedure, and re-submitting my sitemap to Google Webmaster tools, I got the green check mark in the status column again

I am still baffled as to what caused this though, but now I know what to do if this happens again. Maybe there was a WordPress upgrade and some unknown changes may have occurred that way. Either way I hope this will help someone else who finds themselves in a similar situation.

 

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