Critical This Hint requires immediate attention, as the issue may have a serious impact upon crawling, indexing or ranking. Issue This Hint represents an error or problem that needs to be fixed.

Noindex URL in XML Sitemaps

This means that the URL in question is noindex, yet is included in an XML Sitemap.

Why is this important?

Your XML Sitemap should only contain URLs you wish for search engines to index. If a URL is noindex, this is an explicit statement to search engines that you do NOT wish for the URL to be indexed.

As such, including a noindex URL in a sitemap provides conflicting information to search engines, and may result in unintended URLs getting indexed.

What does the Hint check?

This Hint will trigger for any internal URL which is set to noindex, and is included in one of the submitted XML Sitemaps.

Examples that trigger this Hint:

Consider the URL: https://example.com/page-a, which is included in a submitted XML Sitemap.

The Hint would trigger for this URL if it had a noindex in either the <head> or the HTTP header (or both):

Meta noindex in the <head>,

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
<title>example</title>
<meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow">
...
</head>
<body>...</body>
</html>

OR in the HTTP header:

HTTP/... 200 OK
...
X-Robots-Tag: noindex

How do you resolve this issue?

This Hint is marked 'Critical' as it represents a fundamentally breaking issue, which may have a serious adverse impact upon organic search traffic. It is strongly recommended that Critical issues are dealt with as a matter of high priority.

The current setup is technically incorrect, and may cause indexing issues.

To resolve it, you would need to do one of the following:

  1. If the URL should be noindex, then remove it from all XML Sitemaps. Once removed, resubmit the sitemaps on Google Search Console.
  2. If the URL should not be noindex, remove the noindex tag.

Further Reading

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