Google News & Google Webmaster Tools "Pending" Sitemaps Bug

Aug 5, 2009 • 8:52 am | comments (4) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

There are several threads about an issue with Google News publishers and Google Webmaster Tools. The largest thread is at Google News Help where the issue is described as the Sitemap file being in the state of pending.

The Google News blog confirmed the issue, stating is began when the new design launched earlier last month. Google promised to fix the issues quickly, but here are the confirmed issues:

  • Webmaster Tools may report an incorrect "Last downloaded" date for News sitemaps, display a strange number of articles indexed, or display a News sitemap as "Pending" () even though Google News is already crawling the sitemap. The best way to determine if we're crawling a sitemap or not is to check your server logs for Googlebot.
  • From time to time, it may become necessary to resubmit your sitemap (for example, if the Type switches from News to Web). In order to do so, don't click the "Resubmit" button at the bottom of your sitemap list; instead, click the "Submit a Sitemap" link, select Google News from the Type dropdown box, and give us your sitemap's URL.

Google's Abe also confirmed the issue in the Google News Help thread saying:

Sorry about this rather embarrassing issue. This is most likely related to a bug on our end; from what I can tell, the sitemap in question is fine and we're using it, but Webmaster Tools isn't displaying very accurate information. The best place to check to see how we're crawling your site, including your sitemaps, is your server's logs.

Forum discussion at Google News Help.

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