An XML Sitemap is an extremely useful tool in an SEO's arsenal. It allows you to unambiguously declare exactly which URLs you wish to be indexed on a website.
And this is also the only URLs an XML Sitemap should contain - only the URLs you actually want indexed.
As a minimum, these must be URLs that return a 200 status code, and are indexable. As such, the XML Sitemap Hints serve to highlight instances where this is not the case.
XML Sitemaps Issues
Most of the XML Sitemaps Hints are Issues, which means they represent errors or problems that need to be fixed. They are additionally classified in terms of their importance - this should be taken into account when prioritizing implementation work, along with the number and type of URLs affected.
These Hints require immediate attention, as the issue may have a serious impact upon crawling, indexing or ranking.
These Hints are very important, and definitely warrant attention.
- Canonicalized URL in XML Sitemaps
- Disallowed URL in XML Sitemaps
- Forbidden (403) URL in XML Sitemaps
These Hints are worth investigating further, and may warrant further attention depending on the type and quantity of URLs affected.
XML Sitemaps Insights
Insights are neither issues nor opportunities, and often don't require any action at all - they are brought to your attention as they may provide a useful avenue of investigation.