Google search console ERROR

  • After submitting links to google search console it gives me following error message :
    “Sitemap can be read, but has errors. Your Sitemap appears to be an HTML page. Please use a supported sitemap format instead”
    Please advise how to fix it.


Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Hello Armen,

    Thanks a lot for your query and we are so sorry about the trouble this must have caused.

    This could be related to your caching plugin, could you please add an exception for your sitemap file and then do the following:

    1. Head over to WodPress Dashboard > Settings > Permalinks

    Hit the save button once.

    2. Go to WordPress Dashboard > Rank Math > Sitemap Settings

    hit the save button once.

    That should fix the issue.

    If it doesn’t, please do let us know so we can look at this further.

    Hi Michael.

    Can you tell me what means “add an exception” to sitemap file?
    Do i have to resubmit sitemap links to google search console again?


    I had this exact same problem and seemingly Michael’s instructions fixed it.

    Almost all page caching plugins have an exclusions area. Most that I’ve used actually default to including the sitemap. However, mine defaulted to “sitemap.xml”. Rank Math’s sitemap URL is “sitemap_index.xml”.

    I changed the exclusion line in my caching plugin (Hummingbird).
    I then went to permalinks and “Saved”.
    I then went to Rank Math sitemap settings and “Saved”.
    Finally, I went back to the Google Search Console, removed the sitemap and then readded it and the error has gone away.

    I hope that helps!

    Hi .
    I added following link to my Siteground optimizer Excluding URLs section following link
    Then SAVE on WP permalinks.
    Remove all previous sitemaps from my google search console and added this exact link from above to that place.
    Google search console still shows this error message:

    Sitemap can be read, but has errors
    Sitemap is HTML
    Your Sitemap appears to be an HTML page. Please use a supported sitemap format instead

    What can i do to fix this issue?
    Which is proper extension for sitemap on google, “sitemap.xml” or “sitemap_index.xml”?
    Please advise.

    I don’t think the extension matters as you could see in my case.

    Do you have any website level caching plugins like W3TC, WP Supercache, WP Rocket or anything like that? All of those have exclusion sections where you should also add the exclusion.

    I don’t know anything about Siteground, but does their optimizer have any cache clearing you may need to do after you made this change?

    Not sure it matters, but you typed a trailing / at the end of your URL, I would not include that when submitting to Google.

    Finally, I ran your sitemap through a validator and it throws an Incorrect http header content-type error seen here.

    Hopefully one of these will be some kind of clue.

    Hi Brian.

    Thank you for following up.

    I have deleted all submitted earlier links and have re-submitted them again.
    Most of them work successfully at this time. Few still had that error, so i just removed these 3 from the sitemap on console.
    I didn’t add any of them into EXCLUSION section on Siteground optimizer at this time.
    May add these 3 problem links to exclusion and then submit them one more time.
    Yes, i started using WP Rocket few days ago. Didn’t find exclusion area on it yet.
    As far as Incorrect http header content-type error, i have no idea what does it mean and how to fix it. Do you have any idea what that error means?
    Your input well appreciated.


    You shouldn’t need to submit more than the parent sitemap (/sitemap_index.xml) to Google. The page/post/product sitemaps will all be read properly from there. So only submit the primary.

    If you’re using WP Rocket, there’s definitely an exclusion area. I don’t have it installed anywhere right now, but I think it was in the WP Rocket advanced settings under a section called “Never Cache URL(s)”. There may be some things there already, so on a separate line, add /sitemap_index.xml. This is likely the biggest part of the issue.

    The incorrect header content type is also likely linked to WP Rocket so excluding it in the WP Rocket settings might help this. As a bonus, if you haven’t found it yet, WP Rocket has a cool sitemap-based cache preloading feature you’ll want to turn on and you will likely have to add the sitemap URL manually.

    If none of this fixes the Console problem, I would try completely removing (not just deactivating) WP Rocket and trying again. Here’s a link on how to properly uninstall:

    Keep me posted


    Thank you @briantetrault for keeping the conversation alive.

    @armeny please keep us posted on how this goes.

    Thank you.

    Thank you Brian.

    Thank you Michael

    Hi Brian,

    We are so glad to be of help. We are always here if you need us in the future.

    Hey, if it isn’t too much to ask for – would you mind leaving us a review here?

    It only takes a couple of minutes but helps us tremendously.

    It would mean so much to us.

    Thank you.


    Since we did not hear back from you for 15 days, we are assuming that you found the solution. We are closing this support ticket.

    If you still need assistance or any other help, please feel free to open a new support ticket, and we will be more than happy to assist.

    Thank you.

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)

The ticket ‘Google search console ERROR’ is closed to new replies.