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.