Sitemap Couldn’t Fetch Error [*General HTTP Error 404*]

Sitemap Couldn't Fetch ErrorIf you are facing any issue from the list below then today in this article we’ll fix all those errors by some tips and tricks. I’m writing this article because last month I was having multiple errors on this site, with a sitemap. My biggest error was the Sitemap Couldn’t fetch due to General HTTP Error 404 and General HTTP Error 403. Here is the list of Errors I was facing.

  • Sitemap Couldn’t Fetch
  • General HTTP Error 404
  • General HTTP Error 403
  • Server Error 5xx
  • Sitemap_index.xml is Empty

Now let me explain all errors one by one, so you can understand the origin of the error. If your Google search console is new then just leave. Googlebot will check your site and fix these errors automatically. But sometimes these errors happen by your mistakes.

Sitemap Couldn’t Fetch

This is the main/parent error that causes many child errors like HTTP, Server, and many other errors. If you are getting this error while submitting a sitemap, then just click on it and find the real/child sitemap error. In may contains General HTTP error 404 or 403. Let’s take a look at those errors.

General HTTP Error 403, 404

These errors happen when Google’s bot wants to access your sitemap but the sitemap is not available on the location or access is denied. Actually, 404 means that the sitemap is not found on the location that you provided or the sitemap contains 404 pages.

General HTTP Error means that Googlebot was not able to access your sitemap. Because something is blocking Googlebot as the fake bot. I was also facing this error, and this was my main error. In simple words, Googlebot’s IP is blocked to access your site. This often happens when you are using Cloudflare.

Solution 1:

First of all, remove your website from the Cloudflare, if you are using this. Sometimes, Cloudflare Firewall blocks Googlebot as the fake bot, for many reasons. So, remove the site from Cloudflare and change the Name Servers in your domain DNS settings. Then resubmit the sitemap when NS got updated. This worked for me.

Solution 2:

You must check your .htaccess file and robots.txt file because sometimes these files also block access to the sitemap. Somedays before the error occurs I did something wrong with the .htaccess file. You can delete and create a new file easily.

Yoast SEO Plugin helps you to edit and create a .htaccess file and robots.txt file. To edit these files go to your WordPress Dashboard. Then go to SEO and find the Tools section in Yoast SEO Plugin. You’ll find File Editor there, just dive into it.  Read more about .htaccess File and robots.txt – don’t forget to add sitemap in robots.txt

Last Option:

If you think that there is no error with .htaccess file, robots.txt file, and Cloudflare then kindly contact your host provider. In my experience, I’ve heard that most of my friends were facing these errors due to low-quality firewalls of hosting, and incorrect server configurations. If you have solved the error or having any issue then kindly comment here to share your experience. Keep loving, Keep Learning…

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