Resolving Google Search Console (GSC) Sitemap Error – Invalid sitemap URL detected; syntax not understood

Resolving Google Search Console (GSC) Sitemap Error – Invalid sitemap URL detected; syntax not understood

Google Search Console (GSC) serves as a vital tool for webmasters, allowing them to monitor and optimize their website’s performance in Google search results. However, users have encountered a recent issue with sitemaps listed in robots.txt, specifically when using the format: Sitemap: . The error message displayed is “Error – Invalid sitemap URL detected; syntax not understood.” In this article, we’ll explore this problem and provide a solution to rectify it.

Understanding the Issue

The traditional way of specifying sitemaps in the robots.txt file involves using the “Sitemap” directive, followed by the URL of the sitemap. For example:


However, Google Search Console began flagging this syntax as invalid, causing concern among website administrators. The error implies that the syntax used to define the sitemap URL is not understood or recognized by the system.

Error Resolution: Adding “Allow” Directive

To address this issue and clear the error, a modification to the robots.txt file is required. The solution involves adding the “Allow” directive in front of the sitemap line. The corrected syntax looks like this:

Allow: /Sitemap:

This adjustment informs the Googlebot that the specified sitemap URL is allowed and should be crawled without any issues.

Step-by-Step Implementation

  1. Access the Robots.txt File:
    • Locate and access your website’s robots.txt file. This file is often found at the root of your website (e.g., ).
  2. Edit the Robots.txt File:
    • Use a text editor to open and edit the robots.txt file.
  3. Add “Allow” Directive:
    • Find the line specifying the sitemap (e.g., Sitemap: ).
    • Add “Allow:” in front of the sitemap line, creating a new line like this: Allow: /Sitemap: .
  4. Save and Upload Changes:
    • Save the changes to the robots.txt file.
    • If you’re using a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress, ensure that the updated robots.txt file is uploaded to the root directory of your website.
  5. Verify in Google Search Console:
    • Go to Google Search Console and navigate to the “Sitemaps” section.
    • Re-submit the corrected sitemap URL.


By adding the “Allow” directive in front of the sitemap line in the robots.txt file, webmasters can resolve the “Error – Invalid sitemap URL detected; syntax not understood” issue in Google Search Console.

This straightforward modification ensures that Googlebot recognizes and processes the sitemap URL correctly, allowing for effective crawling and indexing of the website’s content.

TDPel Media

This article was published on TDPel Media. Thanks for reading!

Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn

Advertisement: Download Vital Signs App (VS App)