Rank Math WordPress Plugin Duplicate Sitemap Bug

In style WordPress web optimization plugin, Rank Math, has been discovered to have a bug that causes it to generate duplicate sitemap recordsdata. This unusual bug in how sitemaps are generated is much like one which impacts Yoast, however the best way Rank Math handles it’s completely different.

Web site Sitemap

A sitemap is a crucial a part of search engine marketing. It tells serps which pages have been newly added to a web site and which pages have been up to date.

The sitemap helps a search engine prioritize their web site crawling by alerting it to new content material that must be listed.

Due to the significance of a sitemap for web optimization, it’s a good observe that sitemaps are generated accurately.

Google’s developer web page about sitemaps says:

“A sitemap is a file the place you present details about the pages, movies, and different recordsdata in your web site, and the relationships between them.

Search engines like google and yahoo like Google learn this file to crawl your web site extra effectively.

A sitemap tells Google which pages and recordsdata you suppose are necessary in your web site, and likewise offers worthwhile details about these recordsdata. For instance, when the web page was final up to date and any alternate language variations of the web page.”

Rank Math XML Sitemap Bug

Rank Math additionally generates a number of XML sitemaps. In truth, it generates probably an infinite variety of XML sitemaps.

For instance, a web site with a single sitemap for “posts” will generate the next duplicate sitemaps:



But it surely gained’t generate the zero numbered variant, /post-sitemap0.xml

The identical is true for duplicate sitemaps generated for pages:


And once more, similar to for the “posts” sitemaps, Rank Math does not generate the zero-numbered sitemap variant: /page-sitemap0.xml

Rank Math Generates Infinite Variety of Sitemaps?

Whereas Rank Math doesn’t generate the zero-numbered sitemap variant, Rank Math does generate what seems to be a close to infinite quantity of numbered XML sitemaps.

Ideally, Rank Math ought to generate a 404 response code for sitemaps that don’t exist.

However what seems to be occurring is that as an alternative of producing a 404 response message Rank Math is producing a 200 response code (which means it’s a request for a sound internet web page) after which producing an empty XML sitemap.

The next is  a URL that I examined to see what Rank Math generated:


That is what Rank Math exhibits:

Non-existent Web site Map Generated by Rank Math

Empty Sitemap Generated by Rank Math

What number of sitemaps will Rank Math generate?

Apparently, Rank Math could generate loads of URLs, probably an infinite quantity of XML sitemap pages.

I used to be in a position to generate a clean sitemap with this URL:


What’s of curiosity concerning the above sitemap is that the server generates a 200 header response code to a browser when serving that XML web site map.

The 200 response code implies that there is no such thing as a error.

I verified whether or not Rank Math generated a 200 response code through the HTTPStatus web site.

This exhibits that Rank Math generates a 200 response code for pages that don’t exist:

Rank Math Header Response Code

Rank Math Sitemap Redirect Conduct

Different web optimization plugins have a bug that creates a replica sitemap when the quantity zero is added to the top of a sitemap URL.

Rank Math nonetheless doesn’t create a replica sitemap with the quantity zero.

Once you make a request for the non-existent zero-numbered sitemap, the request triggers a redirect to the canonical sitemap.

A request for this non-existent sitemap:


Redirects to the canonical sitemap:


However that’s arguably not an accurate strategy to deal with a sitemap that doesn’t exist.

The proper server response ought to be to point out a 404 Web page Not Discovered Error Response message, as a result of that’s what occurred, the web page was not discovered.

The Yoast web optimization plugin responds within the appropriate method by serving a 404 response code for XML sitemaps that don’t exist (apart from the zero and 1-numbered variants).

I requested Rank Math about it they usually defined that it’s not a difficulty in any respect.

Rank Math:

“That is much like how WP core handles on-site search: you’ll obtain HTTP 200 response for any arbitrary search question.

Not like some sitemap plugins, Rank Math doesn’t generate bodily sitemap recordsdata within the server’s root listing.

Since these non-existent sitemap URLs are usually not current wherever on the location, Google and different serps won’t ever crawl them, so this shouldn’t trigger any challenge from an web optimization perspective.”

Rank Math Duplicate Web site Map Bug

It’s fascinating that Rank Math, like just a few different web optimization Plugins, has a replica web site map bug.

In relation to optimizing an internet site for serps, the purpose is to be as good as potential. Something that makes an internet site lower than good might be thought of a flaw when perfection is the purpose.

Lower than good optimization can result in unexpected penalties.

Yoast is conscious of the issue and is alleged to be engaged on a repair. One would hope that the duplicate web site map challenge with Rank Math will even be mounted sooner or later.


Learn Google’s Internet Web page About Sitemaps

Study sitemaps

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