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Submitted URL not found (404): what does it mean and how to fix it?

“Submitted URL not found (404)” indicates that your XML sitemap contains URLs that return a 404 Not Found error.

Google flags this issue because it wants your XML sitemap to be squeaky clean . The XML sitemap should only contain indexable pages that return HTTP status 200 OK that you want to rank with.

Submit your site and learn if your XML sitemap contains any 404s!

How to fix “Submitted URL not found (404)”

  1. Go to Coverage > Submitted URL not found (404) and export a list of all the reported pages.
  2. Go through every page, and determine whether it's been removed by mistake and check whether they carry value (e.g. still getting traffic and/or have links from other sites). These are the possible outcomes:
    1. This page hasn't been removed by mistake and doesn't carry any value. Next step: remove it from the XML sitemap.
    2. This page hasn't been removed by mistake, yet still carries value. Next step: remove it from the XML sitemap and redirect the URL to the most relevant alternative.
    3. This page has been removed by mistake. Next step: restore the page to its former glory.

In most cases, deleted pages are automatically removed from the XML sitemap. So when you come across the Submitted URL not found (404) issue, it could very well be you caught a bug!

But it could also very well be Google that's lagging behind: cross-referencing an old XML Sitemap with a more recent version of the site.

Submit your website to ContentKing and immediately learn whether you have URLs that can't be found in your XML sitemap!
Read the full Academy article to learn everything about Find and Fix Index Coverage Errors in Google Search Console
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