google seo not able to fetch shopify store sitemap.xml

Solved
user072319
Explorer
94 0 8

Hello,

below is the sitemap.xml of my shopify store.

The sitemap is getting submitted but google seo says 'couldn't fetch'.

can you suggest if anything wrong in my xml file and if it's incompatible with google seo.

 

<!--
This is the parent sitemap linking to additional sitemaps for products, collections and pages as shown below. The sitemap can not be edited manually, but is kept up to date in real time.
-->
</sitemapindex>.
 
Thank you for your time.
Accepted Solution (1)

Accepted Solutions
Julie
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
1109 106 325

This is an accepted solution.

Hey, @JoLynn!

Thanks for hopping into the conversation. First off, I'm glad to hear that you're focusing on SEO. Making sure that your online store is highly ranked on Google takes a ton of work, and there are many factors at play when it comes to how Google shares search results.

That being said, the error message you're receiving shouldn't be affecting your SEO. I took a look into the indexed but not submitted in sitemap message and I managed to find a useful thread in the Moz SEO forums that sheds some light on what this particular message means. There, you'll find that what you're seeing is not an error message. Instead, this message simply indicates that Google was able to discover your URLs outside of your sitemap and has already indexed them. This likely happened because Shopify sitemaps are structured a bit differently than traditional sitemaps.

It's also worth noting that Google has a complete list of sitemap errors and it doesn't look like indexed but not submitted in sitemap is a listed error message. This would further indicate that there is no issue, as Google has already indexed your site. 

Now, there could be a number of reasons why you are not seeing certain pages listed in search results, but it's safe to say that the indexed but not submitted in sitemap message isn't why this is happening. Instead, this could have something to do with the fact that you are submitting your sitemap daily; according to Google, crawling can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. For this reason, I recommend not submitting your sitemap multiple times since it sounds like it's already been successfully submitted.

There is a slight possibility that the pages you aren't seeing may not be indexed (however, based on the indexed but not submitted message, this likely isn't the case). Nonetheless, I suggest using Google's URL Inspection tool, which will provide information about Google's indexed version of a specific page. If there are specific pages that you aren't seeing, then this tool will help you ensure that they've been indexed properly.

Another potential reason why you aren't seeing specific pages listed could be because your store is new, there aren't enough keywords being used, or that there aren't many "backlinks" to your site. It takes a lot of time and consistency when it comes to ranking on Google, so don't get discouraged if you aren't seeing specific pages being listed in search results. By focusing on adding the right keywords, publishing relevant content, and utilizing Shopify's built-in SEO features, it definitely sounds like you're on the track.

As you continue working on increasing SEO, I suggest checking out our blog post, 7 Free and Simple SEO Tools for Bootstrapped Business Owners, which includes a list of some online tools you can use to help you analyze and improve your SEO practices. It may also be worth hiring a Shopify Expert who specializes in SEO to conduct an SEO audit of your online store. This would be an excellent way to identify any gaps and ensure that you're doing all the right things. You can browse for SEO experts in the Shopify Experts Marketplace here.

I hope this clears things up and provides you with a few helpful pointers! 

Julie | Social Care @ Shopify 
 - Was my reply helpful? Click Like to let me know! 
 - Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
 - To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

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Replies 15 (15)
Julie
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
1109 106 325

Hi, @user072319!

 

Julie, here from Shopify Support.

 

Submitting your sitemap to Google is a great way to boost your SEO. When submitting your sitemap, did you follow our instructions on how to do so here? This help doc also includes video instructions, making it really easy to follow along.

 

The sitemap.xml file is the only file that should be submitted to Google, and other search engines, as it is optimized to work best in conjunction with our platform. Typically, the "couldn't fetch" error message occurs when trying to submit a sitemap other than the sitemap.xml file. However, it does sound like you are trying to submit the correct sitemap, so we can take a look at a few troubleshooting steps here.

 

When submitting the sitemap, are you using the one associated with your primary domain? You can see which domain is your primary domain by heading to Online store > Domains. If you've purchased a custom domain, this would typically be your primary domain. If the sitemap you tried submitting isn't the one associated with your primary domain, you'll just want to try resubmitting with that domain. 

 

I also recommend checking to see if your property type in Google Search Console is set to "Domain", rather than just "URL prefix". You should be able to see this directly in Google Search Console, by clicking the dropdown arrow next to your URL, and then by clicking Add Property. Once there, you should see an option to select the domain property type.

 

If you're still receiving the "couldn't fetch" error message, are you able to reply with a screenshot? The screenshot should look something like this: 

 

29-07-efr5x-rskps

 

Once I have that, we can do some digging here and go through a few more troubleshooting steps with our Technical Support team. Let me know how that goes.

Julie | Social Care @ Shopify 
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 - To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

user072319
Explorer
94 0 8

@Julie 

Thank you for the support.
Just to clarify we are submitting through Google Search Console (GSC). We cannot use Domain in Add Property as we don't have access to DNS CNAME for domain verification. Hence we are using meta tag verification through URL Prefix property.
We checked the sitemap.xml provided by shopify in various xml validator sites like http://www.utilities-online.info/xsdvalidation/#.XUAeYehKiM8 and we got response as Not well formed: The reference to entity "to" must end with the ';' delimiter. 
In other words the sitemap.xml should be encoded. Example in above sitemap.xml, the below string

<loc>
https://test072919.myshopify.com/sitemap_products_1.xml?from=3958845538401&to=3958850715745
</loc>

should be

<loc>
https://test072919.myshopify.com/sitemap_products_1.xml?from=3958845538401&amp;to=3958850715745
</loc>

Attaching screenshot of google search console sitemap submit error.screenshot1.png

Julie
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
1109 106 325

Thanks for the screenshot, @user072319.

 

Shopify's sitemap differs from many other website sitemaps, which can cause some confusion and is likely the reason for the message you received from the XML validator tool. While most smaller websites have all the sitemap content listed in a single file, this doesn't work so well with large amounts of content, so Shopify breaks it down into sections. In other words, while many sitemaps point to all of the content on a website, Shopify's parent sitemap.xml file will link to the individual sections. 

 

When submitting the sitemap to a search engine (Google, Bing, etc) you only need to submit the parent sitemap.xml URL. Search engines will see the parent, and the subsections it references and then will scan those without having to point out each individual section. It looks like you're submitting the correct file, however, so the issue may be that your domain isn't properly verified. 

 

Are you able to confirm that you have successfully verified your domain prior to submitting your sitemap? While you did mention you are using the meta tag method, have you completed all of the steps outlined by Google here? In this help doc, you'll notice a section for "meta tag method", which will be the one you will want to use. Please let me know if those steps have been completely followed and it is verified in Google Search Console. If we have been able to confirm that the domain has been properly verified and there is still an error message with the sitemap submission, I can have our Technical Team take a look here. 

 

I look forward to hearing back from you.

Julie | Social Care @ Shopify 
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 - Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
 - To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

user072319
Explorer
94 0 8
Julie, Thank you for your response.
I have followed all the steps mentioned in the link you provided for domain
verification. and also my domain is successfully verified and is listed in
verified domains sections in Goggle Search Console.
Julie
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
1109 106 325

Thanks for confirming.

 

I'm going to go ahead and loop my Technical Team in on this issue so they can take a deeper look. I'll be reaching out to you via the email listed in your profile so that we can continue the conversation there. Keep your eye out for an email from me shortly! 

Julie | Social Care @ Shopify 
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 - Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
 - To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

troyshu
Tourist
9 2 4

Hi @user072319, did you end up solving this issue? I'm in the exact same situation, being unable to use the Domain method and having to use the URL prefix method of verification, but then seeing the "Sitemap could not be read" error in Google Search Console after I submit my Shopify store's sitemap. If so, I'm wondering what solution worked for you. Thanks!

Website conversion, business automation, and SEO and analytics consulting ---> thinkbeagle.com
rickyc
New Member
3 0 0

Hi Julie,

 

I am having the same problem.  I disabled the password, submitted my Shopify store to my Google Search Console and received confirmation that it was indexed but couldn't fetch.  Below is the report I received.  Can you please help???  Thanks!

 

GOOGLE CONSOLE SHOPIFY FETCH.jpeg

fp-cmorales
Explorer
44 2 5
Julie
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
1109 106 325

Hi, @rickyc!

 

Thanks for the screenshot. According to this Google help doc, the "Indexed, not submitted in sitemap" message indicates that the URL was discovered by Google and indexed.

 

When you submitted your Shopify store to Google Search Console, did you submit your sitemap.xml file? This should be the only sitemap that's submitted. If you haven't submitted this particular sitemap file, then this could be why you are receiving this message. If you have already submitted your sitemap, then I recommend doing so once again. Regardless, this isn't necessarily an error message and based on the screenshot, it appears that Google already has crawled and indexed your site.

 

Keep in mind that when you resubmit your sitemap, it does take anywhere between a few days to a few weeks for Google to be recrawl it, so you will not see the status change immediately.

 

I hope this helps clear things up! 

Julie | Social Care @ Shopify 
 - Was my reply helpful? Click Like to let me know! 
 - Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
 - To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

rickyc
New Member
3 0 0
Hi Julie,

Yes, I did submit the sitemap.xml, removed everything, then resubmitted
several times over three days ... always receiving the "could not fetch"
each time.

I chatted with Sarah Jane Toriente C at Shopify last night for quite some
time and after she checked with your domain team she advised that
apparently Google no longer will recognize the .myshopify.com. The only
way to correct this is to purchase a separate domain name.

Here is the chat stream -

[image: image.png]

rickyc
New Member
3 0 0

Julie,

 

Not sure the chat stream went through, so I am attaching it again here:

 

GOOGLE FETCH ERROR - SHOPIFY RESPONSE.jpeg

Julie
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
1109 106 325

Thanks for passing along this screenshot. Having a myshopify.com URL shouldn't matter, as long as it's your primary domain. I apologize for the misinformation you received. 

 

As long as you are submitting the sitemap associated with your primary domain and your storefront password is disabled, then you should be able to successfully submit the sitemap.xml file. If you are still receiving the "could not fetch" error after trying to resubmit, this is normal behaviour. Google recently introduced a new Google Search Console, and this is a known bug. There's actually a thread in the Google Search Console Community relating to this. Typically, the "could not fetch" status will change, but it can take up to a few weeks for Google to update the status on your end. 

 

My recommendation is to wait a little bit longer. If you are still seeing the "could not fetch" message after a few weeks have passed, then you can always use the "Submit feedback" option in Google Search Console to report your issue to Google. 

Julie | Social Care @ Shopify 
 - Was my reply helpful? Click Like to let me know! 
 - Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
 - To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

JoLynn
New Member
2 0 1

When I lookup site:mudscuppersshop", my homepage and product pages show up. So I know Google has indexed them. Google console shows my website pages are "indexed but not submitted in sitemap".  I have been getting this error for weeks. I have submitted my sitemap everyday in Google console. My business manufactures tattoo & piercing products. I have added numerous keywords and phrases such as; "piercing spray, piercing aftercare spray," etc., throughout the site, including the H1 headers, titles, descriptions and in the SEO "Page Title and URL and handle." When I do searches using these keywords and phrases, neither the homepage or any product pages show up on Google? It's been 2 months. There are only about 12 to 22 pages that pop up on Google for these searches. What is going on? I have never had these problems and on other platforms. Please help.

Julie
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
1109 106 325

This is an accepted solution.

Hey, @JoLynn!

Thanks for hopping into the conversation. First off, I'm glad to hear that you're focusing on SEO. Making sure that your online store is highly ranked on Google takes a ton of work, and there are many factors at play when it comes to how Google shares search results.

That being said, the error message you're receiving shouldn't be affecting your SEO. I took a look into the indexed but not submitted in sitemap message and I managed to find a useful thread in the Moz SEO forums that sheds some light on what this particular message means. There, you'll find that what you're seeing is not an error message. Instead, this message simply indicates that Google was able to discover your URLs outside of your sitemap and has already indexed them. This likely happened because Shopify sitemaps are structured a bit differently than traditional sitemaps.

It's also worth noting that Google has a complete list of sitemap errors and it doesn't look like indexed but not submitted in sitemap is a listed error message. This would further indicate that there is no issue, as Google has already indexed your site. 

Now, there could be a number of reasons why you are not seeing certain pages listed in search results, but it's safe to say that the indexed but not submitted in sitemap message isn't why this is happening. Instead, this could have something to do with the fact that you are submitting your sitemap daily; according to Google, crawling can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. For this reason, I recommend not submitting your sitemap multiple times since it sounds like it's already been successfully submitted.

There is a slight possibility that the pages you aren't seeing may not be indexed (however, based on the indexed but not submitted message, this likely isn't the case). Nonetheless, I suggest using Google's URL Inspection tool, which will provide information about Google's indexed version of a specific page. If there are specific pages that you aren't seeing, then this tool will help you ensure that they've been indexed properly.

Another potential reason why you aren't seeing specific pages listed could be because your store is new, there aren't enough keywords being used, or that there aren't many "backlinks" to your site. It takes a lot of time and consistency when it comes to ranking on Google, so don't get discouraged if you aren't seeing specific pages being listed in search results. By focusing on adding the right keywords, publishing relevant content, and utilizing Shopify's built-in SEO features, it definitely sounds like you're on the track.

As you continue working on increasing SEO, I suggest checking out our blog post, 7 Free and Simple SEO Tools for Bootstrapped Business Owners, which includes a list of some online tools you can use to help you analyze and improve your SEO practices. It may also be worth hiring a Shopify Expert who specializes in SEO to conduct an SEO audit of your online store. This would be an excellent way to identify any gaps and ensure that you're doing all the right things. You can browse for SEO experts in the Shopify Experts Marketplace here.

I hope this clears things up and provides you with a few helpful pointers! 

Julie | Social Care @ Shopify 
 - Was my reply helpful? Click Like to let me know! 
 - Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
 - To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

JoLynn
New Member
2 0 1
Thank you Julie.

I will stop submitting the sitemap to see what happens. It is just frustrating that for three months, I do not even see my homepage show up. 90 days of no traffic and no sales. I have never had this problem with any other platforms; Go Daddy, Volusion. So, I thank you for for taking the time to read and replying. I'll wait another 30 days or so to see what happens.

You been very helpful, thank you.

Michael