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Google xml Sitemaps REJECTED

  1. I'm getting this error message from Google Webmaster Tools every time I try to submit a sitemap for :

    Sitemap is HTML
    Your Sitemap appears to be an HTML page. Please use a supported sitemap format instead.

    We are forwarding to and are submitting the sitemap from in exactly the same way we do for our other similar sites like which actually explains how to use a blog to build a website.

    None of this forwarding should affect the sitemap configuration.

    PLEASE HELP!!! Many thanks!

    The blog I need help with is

  2. Is this the URL you are submitting: ?

  3. Oh, wait, you are forwarding. You have to submit the wordpress.COM URL then, which would be

    This sitemap, , which is NOT the sitemap associated with your blog, is HTML, not XHTML, which is why you are getting the error.

    What should be done in cases like this to have everything work cleanly and to not confuse or confound the search engines is to map the domain name to the site here. Forwarding in my experience can be fickle.

  4. Thanks for your comments. They didn't solve the problem.

    FYI Google's Webmaster Tools procedures do NOT allow you to put in as the sitemap location. The field is prefilled with as the prefix

    You say that is NOT the sitemap associated with our blog? They sure look exactly alike to me.

    Yes, domain mapping is a much cleaner approach but I don't know of a way to do it with the free sites. Can you explain how to do it?

  5. Does this help?
    Domain Mapping ยป Map an Existing Domain > Instructions for Mapping an Existing Domain

  6. xml sitemaps do not have the requisite code lines indicating they are in xml format, that is why they are being rejected by Google Webmaster Tools. needs to add the lines of code indicating the sitemap is in xml format.

    Am I correct that the Domain Mapping function only works for PAID accounts, or if you try to do it, you will have to pay to make it work?

  7. Am I correct that the Domain Mapping function only works for PAID accounts, or if you try to do it, you will have to pay to make it work?

    Yes. I paid for domain mapping upgrades for both of my blogs.

  8. WordPress sitemaps here are fully compliant with Google. There are literally 30 million blogs here with that exact format of sitemap and Google recognizes them all, and when you view the two sitemaps, they are NOT the same.

    Your URL of your site is NOT , it is . The other domain name is just FORWARDED to it.

    Google will never accept a sitemap on the domain being forwarded. It will only accept a sitemap on the destination. You have to set the main URL for your site for Google webmaster tools to , not to .

  9. Seriously, the only way to do this and do it right is to domain map your URL to the site here using the links that timethief and I have provided.

  10. WRONG!!! Google is very specific as to what they want to see in a sitemap:

    Specifically, they want to see the XML identifier in the header

    Your Sitemap file must specify the following XML namespace: xmlns="".

    Like this:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <urlset xmlns=""
    <loc></loc&gt; does NOT supply the xml identifier in their sitemap headers and does NOT specify the encoding as per this example too:

    <!-- generator="" --><urlset xsi:schemaLocation=""><url><loc></loc><lastmod>2012-01-05T00:52:47+00:00</lastmod&gt;

    Which is why I am getting this error:

    Sitemap is HTML
    Your Sitemap appears to be an HTML page. Please use a supported sitemap format instead. appears to be forcing people to the PAID option in order to get sitemaps that are acceptable to Google.

    WordPress simply needs to add the xml specifiers as per Google's instructions.

    WordPress seems to have a gang of operatives assigned to trying to push people to the paid options.

  11. You are both trying to push people to the PAID option when the simply fails to include the xml specifiers they clearly require in the Webmaster Tools help section.

  12. Then talk with staff. Google and the other search engines have never rejected any of my sitemaps from here at wordpress.COM.

  13. I have both paid domain mapping and plain sites on WordPress.COM and the site maps work just fine on all the sites

  14. I just verified three of my test blogs here with Google webmaster tools (they were verified immediately) and then submitted the generated sitemaps for each and they were all accepted and downloaded by Google instantly with zero errors.

    Sitemap errors and warnings
    No errors or warnings found.

  15. One last thing if you have only forwarded the traffic from, and not mapped it to your site here, then this is the site URL that you must submit to and verify with google:

    After the verification then you submit this sitemap:

  16. marketingmachismo

    NO! ABSOLUTELY UNTRUE. I think you are blowing smoke.

    I just tried it and had exactly the same error.

    I just changed my verification meta tag in Google Webmaster Tools from to (it verified successfully) and tried to submit a sitemap and got EXACTLY THE SAME ERROR.

    I agree, the problem is is not putting the correct xml identifiers in the sitemap headers.

  17. marketingmachismo

    HOW and WHO do you refer this issue to? It clearly is an issue for some people.

  18. I just verified three of my test blogs here with Google webmaster tools (they were verified immediately) and then submitted the generated sitemaps for each and they were all accepted and downloaded by Google instantly with zero errors.

    Sitemap errors and warnings
    No errors or warnings found.

  19. @marketingmachismo
    My experience is identical to what thesacredpath has stated.

    Sitemap errors and warnings
    No errors or warnings found.

  20. marketingmachismo

    Maybe your PAID accounts have placed you on a different server.

    There is a large red X on Google Webmaster Tools sitemap page and the error message I have described above.

    Google is VERY CLEAR about the encoding they want to see for xml sitemaps. sitemaps do not have the required:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <urlset xmlns=""

  21. yelling at people who are not paid but are trying to help you is very bad Karma. You are also domain forwarding which changes the dynamics as noted above - you have also wasted way more than $ 12-- in your time beating a round peg in a square hole that is unless you time is worth $ 0.15 / hour.

    Also as noted above - contact the staff as they are the only ones that have access to the code and our blogs are working just fine.

  22. @marketingmachismo
    I was not referring to paid accounts because aside from VIP accounts there are no paid accounts here. There are only upgrades we can purchase for specific purposes for individual free hosted blogs. I was referring to plain ordinary free hosted test blogs on sub-domains.

    Yelling at us is very bad karma indeed because this is a peer support forum and none of us Volunteers who choose to answer questions have to put up with abuse. If we chose to act as a unit we could all ignore each and every thread anyone who has abused us previously posts here. At this juncture you are free to get all your support from Staff at the link that has been proffered to you above and that I will post again for you. >

  23. I'm talking about free test blogs hosted right here on wordpress.COM - 3 of them.

    timethief has two sites here, both with custom domain names and both fully verified with Google and the sitemaps for those two sites are fine with Google. They have no problems with them.

    I just checked three client's sites here, one with custom domain name and two straight up free sites, and in their google webmaster setups they had not set up the sitemap, so I just did that for them and they was accepted without error.

    Seriously, I don't know what is going on, but sitemaps are not the issue. I've also checked three client's self-hosted sites that are using three different sitemap generator plugins, and the headers on those generated sitemaps are identical in structure, and the information provided, to the ones that wordpress.COM produces.

    There are probably 25+ million public blogs here on wordpress.COM (30 million total) all using that same sitemap. If this were a "problem" believe me there would be more than two people here in the forums going on about this.

    Note the opening paragraph in the google link that the OP provided:

    Google can accept Web Sitemaps in a number of formats, but we recommend creating a Sitemap based on the Sitemap protocol because the same file can be submitted to the other search engines, such as Bing and Yahoo!, that are members of

    For the record, Bing and Yahoo both accept wordpress.COM sitemaps just as they are.

    From that same google link.

    In addition to the standard format above, Google also accepts the following as Sitemaps:

    RSS, mRSS, and Atom 1.0
    Text file

    Yes, Google even accepts plain text files with no header information at all, just a list of URLs, one per line, that you would manually update.

    Given my experience with Google doing web development, I can tell you that its fickle nature is a "feature" of Google and you can never tell from day to day what it is going to throw at you. I've had it reject its own meta tags before only to wait a few hours and submit the same number and it takes it.

  24. Let me offer just a brief explanation of what forwarding a domain name does as far as browser and search engines are concerned.

    Once you set a forward or redirect on a URL, that URL effectively becomes nothing more than a post with a sign with an arrow on it pointing to another URL and saying, "nothing to see here folks, please go over there." As far as the web, google and browsers are concerned that URL with the forward/redirect effectively doesn't exist. The only thing that exists is the URL that they all were forwarded to.

    That means that the web address that you submit to google has to be the one at the end of the forward/redirect - the URL, because like I said, that other site doesn't exist as a "site." The sitemap submitted to google also has to be the one for the site here, .

  25. marketingmachismo

    TWO different sites posting here have encountered the SAME problem - yet you continue to DENY the problem exists!

    Just because it works for you does NOT prove that others are NOT experiencing problems.

    Removing the domain forwarding from - take a look, it's gone, did NOT provide a valid Google Webmasters Tools sitemap for

    You are far more concerned with trying to prove a problem doesn't exist - blaming the victim is not considered HELP!

  26. What part of contact the staff don't you understand??

    Everyone that has tried to help you have blogs that are working fine. @TSP has even tried small words several times - yelling at us is a waste of you time and just irritates us that you might ask for help in the future. Bad Karma dude.

  27. Bad Karma dude.

  28. Point of process!


    Yelling is not more effective than speaking in a normal voice. No matter how much BOLD you use, you will always receive the same answer because the answer remains the same regardless of your choice of font styling.

    Two sites doing exactly the same wrong thing are encountering the exact same difficulty. What can be the solution?

    Stop doing that thing.

    Do what the several experienced, successful bloggers in this thread have instructed and POOF! Problem solved.


    You are perfectly free to continue to do the wrong thing, if it makes you feel more empowered. If you do, you will continue to fail. As a member of the WP.COM volunteer caucus, I support your right to free choice and free action within the framework of the GA.

    It's entirely up to you.

  29. Isn't it funny how, even within Occupy, bankers are asshats?

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