One SEO professional asked John Mueller in hangout about sitemaps of sitemaps and crawling problems they are having with this implementation.
They are working on a project that’s e-commerce based. So there are a large number of URLs. And they have segmented them into an implementation of sitemaps of sitemaps.
For the past month, however, they are seeing in Search Console that they are not able to fetch it.
But the twist is: the main sitemap, the root sitemap, is able to index without issue. But the nested sitemaps’ data URLs are zero.
They tried inspecting each sitemap and they were showing the fetch as successful.
John explained that if you have an indexed sitemap – a sitemap of sitemaps implementation – then Search Console is not going to show the details of the detailed pages directly in Search Console.
To get that information, you may need to submit the individual sitemaps individually, just so you can look up the reports for that.
That is likely something that you don’t need to do for all of these and just maybe pick a sample of them and see how that’s going there.
The other thing that you can do is, you can change the URL of some of these detailed sitemaps and see if that works. Because it might have been the case that Google, for whatever reason, tried to recrawl and thought they couldn’t do it, and continued to remember the sitemaps in that state.
So if you use a new URL for the sitemap file, it may help Google understand that they need to check the sitemap again. And this will help with the reprocessing of the sitemap.
This happens at approximately the 48:17 mark in the video.
John Mueller Hangout Transcript
SEO Professional 7 48:17
It’s so, the question is regarding the sitemaps. And I’m working on a project of like e-commerce. So it has a huge, huge number of URLs, like let’s say lots of URLs, so we have segmented them, so with compression, with sitemaps of sitemaps.
So from the past month, I’m seeing that Search Console is not able to fetch it, but the twist is the main sitemap. The root sitemap is able to index and it’s showing status success, but the nested sitemap, sitemap 1, 2, 3 that is showing couldn’t fetch and the data URL is zero.
And I tried inspecting each sitemap, they were showing the fetch is successful. So I just wanted your input on that. So what will be the scenario in this case?
I don’t know. It’s hard to say. So I think there…one of the things I have heard, I haven’t actually looked at in detail, is in Search Console. If you have an indexed sitemap, which is kind of that sitemap of sitemaps thing that you said, then we don’t show the details of the detail pages directly in Search Console.
So essentially, to get at that information, you might need to submit the individual Sitemaps individually, just so that you can look up the reports for that. That probably is something that you don’t need to do for all of these and just maybe pick a sample of them and see how that’s going there. The other thing is that, what might help here, is to just change the URL of some of these detailed sitemaps and see if that works.
Because it might end up that we try to recrawl some of these sitemaps. And for whatever reason, we think we can’t do it. And we kind of remember that, like that state. So if you use a new URL for the sitemap file, maybe it’ll help us to understand, Oh, we should double check the sitemap again.
And that might help us to kind of reprocess those. So I would try that for maybe a handful of them first and if you see that it works, then maybe it makes sense to change the naming convention that you have.
I can’t promise that it’ll result in all of these sitemaps being crawled and indexed, because we we do sometimes just not crawl individual sitemap files where we think, “Oh, we’re not sure what the actual value is of crawling and indexing the rest of the content there” actually is.