Indexed, not submitted in sitemap: what does it mean and how to fix?

Last updated: September 1, 2020

The “Indexed, not submitted in sitemap” status indicates that Google’s indexed URLs that aren’t included in your XML sitemap.

While this isn’t a big issue in most case, it can be a useful pointer that you don’t have an XML sitemap, you’ve not yet submitted it to Google Search Console or that important pages are missing from your XML sitemap.

Here’s what this error looks like in Google Search Console’s Index Coverage report:

Indexed, not submitted in sitemap Google Search Console screenshot

Next steps

  1. If you don’t have a XML sitemap yet, create one now.
  2. If you do have an XML sitemap, but you haven’t submitted it yet in Google Search Console, do so now.
  3. If you’ve submitted your XML sitemap in Google Search Console, investigate what URLs Google’s reporting to be missing and verify whether these need to be indexed. If they need to be indexed, add them to your XML sitemap. If they don’t, make sure to implement a robots noindex. If you really want to keep Google away from these URLs, then update your robots.txt.
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