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Help: Google Sitemap Issues

  1. Having noticed a recent and noticeable lag in indexing time of new posts by Google, I resubmitted the site map for my blog to Webmaster Tools, which came back with 220 errors and 112 warnings, citing "Invalid XML Tag," "Missing XML Tag," and "Incorrect Namespace." Can someone help with this? I understand that WordPress is responsible for the coding that seems to have created this problem.

    The blog I need help with is

  2. Hello there,
    I have flagged this thread for Staff attention. Please be patient while waiting.

  3. Thanks. Will be happy to provide a screen shot of the error/warning results.

  4. Yes, would you please take a screenshot of the errors and upload it via Media -> Add New in your blog's Dashboard so we can take a look?

  5. Hi! I have the same kind of problems with the sitemap. My previously well ranking blog has suddenly fallen out of Google. This happened a few days after changing my blog's theme to a new one. Then I have changed the earlier theme back, but this doesn't help.

    Webmaster tools shows several warnings as follows:
    "Invalid XML tag This tag was not recognized. Please fix it and resubmit"
    "Missing XML tag This required tag is missing. Please add it and resubmit"
    "Incorrect namespace Your Sitemap or Sitemap index file doesn't properly declare the namespace."

    Could you please help - thanks a lot in advance!

  6. Hi, I have 450 errors and 227 warnings for

    I also changed themes then changed back again although that was several days ago and these errors are dated as being detected June 2. Not sure if that is my time zone or yours (USA)

  7. Macmanx, I have uploaded two screen shots as per your request.

    They are called Sitemap Errors and Sitemap Errors2.

    I also resubmitted the sitemap and tested it - also reported errors.

  8. I changed my theme two weeks ago and then back to the original one about a week later. The mentioned errors have been detected May 31 by Google.

    Today noticed also these site error messages:
    "Couldn’t communicate with the DNS server."
    "Request timed out or site is blocking Google"
    "Crawl postponed because robots.txt was inaccessible."

    Macmanx, I'll also upload some screenshots via Media soon - do you need separate info on the file names?

  9. I have also uploaded a screen shot of the errors as requested. The problem seems to mirror holipompeli's original message. Could briefly activating a different theme have caused these major glitches?

  10. Macmanx, you will now find my screen shot of the errors uploaded. Please let me know, if you need any further info. I'm afraid quite many bloggers have the same problem - really great if you could solve it!

  11. @macmanx

    There are now 5 screen shots in my media library of for two sites with Google Webmaster tools for Site Map errors in and

    The files are unattached and all start with "Site-Map" - they are the most recent Media uploads so should be at the top of the list. It looks like many blogs are broken.

  12. Thanks for sending those in. We're looking into it.

  13. Hi everyone -- we believe this is related to some improvements we've been working on to provide richer information in your sitemaps for search engines. We're working on a fix right now.

  14. Will we be advised as to when to resubmit sitemaps to Google?

  15. Actually, if you could try resubmitting now, we've already made one fix to the "invalid XML tag". The other errors you're getting from Google are a little misleading, but it's possible this fix will clean them all up. Please let us know on this thread.

  16. Resubmitted and tested and no change for me. Same errors and same number of errors.

  17. My apologies -- I forgot to mention that you need to do something to force your sitemap to regenerate, because otherwise they are cached on our servers. Any of the following will force a refresh:

    1. Publish a Post or Page
    2. Edit an existing Post or Page
    3. Trash/Delete a Post or Page
  18. My sitemap report now says "no errors found". Good to see a steady resolution.

    I notice we now are submitting (or Google are reporting) mobile and image content, but none are yer indexed. Is this part of the richer information project you mentioned?

  19. Darn auto-correct........ I meant speedy resolution, not steady

  20. Perfect -- that's great news.

    Yep, the mobile + image content is what we've been adding there. Your sites are all fully-mobile accessible thanks to the efforts of our Mobile Team, so we can tell Google about that and they know that your sites are OK to list/show in their mobile results.

    If you're uploading/attaching images to Posts, then we're now explicitly including that information in your sitemap as well, although Google seems to do a very good job of finding those either way.

    Hopefully you'll start seeing a bit of extra traffic on your sites with these changes, some from Image Search and some from mobile devices.

  21. Related question, I think. Just looked at my robots.txt file on Webmaster tools.

    What does the # MT section mean?

    # MT refugees
    User-agent: *
    Disallow: /cgi-bin/

  22. That's a generic rule that we include that was originally added because people who migrate from MoveableType (MT) have a lot of things going on in /cgi-bin/. Since that directory doesn't exist on, we just tell search bots up front so they don't have to bother looking around for it.

  23. I was concerned that refugees may be being excluded for some reason, and given it is a central theme on my blog, that would be a problem!

  24. @beau/macmanx-Any connection between the fix here to the problem mentioned in this thread?

  25. So does EVERY blogger have to go through this procedure?

  26. My sitemap seems to work again - no errors found - great! Unfortunately it takes a long time before the blog will be indexed by Google again. Hopefully I get my lost page rank back.

    Beau, macmanx, I'd like to understand what happened. My blog vanished from Google 23 - 24 May. Did something happen just then at your project (richer information) which affected all WP blogs? Did this have anything to do with my theme change a few days before? I just wonder if it's too risky to change themes in the future.

  27. @raincoaster, I would think, given the multi-user, shared environment here that, yes, everyone would have been affected by it.

    @holipompeli, how do you know it will be a long time before they index your site again? Generally after an error is corrected, then begin crawling again in just a short time. I've seen maybe 5 days, on the outside, in similar situations with client sites.

  28. I had two out of three sites that I have put into Webmaster Tools had this fine "enhancement" blow out my sitemap's - but the blog that did not have the error is a low traffic / low crawl rate that had not been crawled in a few days - I updated a Post just to be on the safe side.

  29. A solution for the lazy: perhaps manual pinging at Pingomatic will do it?

  30. Hey,

    My site is properly indexed for posts but not for mobile and images they are not indexed at all. How can i solve this issue?

    Thanks in advance

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