Google Sitemaps Bug? "Sitemap appears to be an HTML page"

Sep 8, 2009 • 8:13 am | comments (10) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

A Google Webmaster Help thread reports that when using Google Sites and submitting a Sitemap file to Webmaster Tools, you may receive an error. The error some people are seeing is:

Your Sitemap appears to be an HTML page. Please use a supported sitemap format instead.

The issue is, the Sitemap files are auto generated by Google Sites. The help document explains:

Once you have verified your site with Google Webmaster tools, Google Sites will auto-generate a sitemap xml file. Your sitemap will be generated at: domain)/(site name)/system/feeds/sitemap for Google Apps. name)/system/feeds/sitemap for sites under

Once these Sitemaps have been created, you can submit them to Google using Webmaster Tools.

So why is a Sitemap file that is auto-generated by Google seen as an HTML by Google?

Googler, JohnMu said that in this case, it appears to be some sort of bug. He said he would alert the Google Sites team about the issue. JohnMu said:

You can ignore that error message -- this is your homepage's URL just written in a slightly different way (without the trailing "/"). I'll pass a note on to the Google Sites team about this, but it's not affecting the processing of your Sitemap file so you don't have to worry about this :-).

Even though Google is telling this webmaster that the Sitemap file is bad, Google is actually eating (indexing) the contents of the file with no problem.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: September 7, 2009



11/08/2012 02:21 am

is that so? our website is already submitted to google but we are still wondering the effects of that error to our website. can you give us light with it?


12/19/2012 10:44 am

How long does it ussaly take to index the site, i'av had the error for a few days now and feel like nothing is happaning.


04/02/2013 11:57 am

my site resembles the same problem try to help me it shows 1 errors while submitting the sitemap

Gabriel Labrecque

05/09/2013 09:37 pm

In my case, I think this error was caused by a redirect of my domain from to I had registered my site to Webmaster Tools as but any HTTP request was redirected to www, including the sitemap.xml one. I didn't remove the redirect, I just registered the to webmaster tools to google and it worked.


05/16/2013 09:46 am

Same, the error was because I redirected my domain to subdomain And in Webmasters Tools I had registered Once I switched to, error was fixed. In fact, if I access, I am redirected to, not So the error is actually real, google can't find the sitemap.


05/22/2013 06:25 pm

sitemap is not working on my site in google webmaster it says Your Sitemap appears to be an HTML page. Please use a supported sitemap format instead. but sometimes it works fine sometimes not. This is the sitemap url is there anything wrong in this sitemap


05/29/2013 07:55 pm

I had the respond Your Sitemap appears to be an HTML page. Please use a supported sitemap format instead. Check my doamin Hope it will not have effects on ranking because I am struggling.


09/16/2013 05:32 pm

I guess this is still an issue? I can't seem to get rid of this error for


10/23/2013 07:17 pm

We're having the same issue, not sure how to contact Google and inform them about this bug


08/02/2014 05:06 am

Hi Admin, Same Message is giving me my Webmaster tool. Please check my blog if there is any Problem or issue.

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