How to Fix "Your Sitemap appears to be an HTML page" Error

When you try to submit your XML sitemap to Google, they may display to your the following error:

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

To fix this issue, you need to disable XML styling in your OSMap settings.

Google expects your sitemap to be in one of the following formats:

  1. XML
  2. RSS
  3. Text
  4. Google sites

Of these four formats, XML is the most common. Take note that HTML isn't on the list.

OSMap creates one sitemap in XML format and another - in an HTML format.

The sitemap in XML format is used for search engines. The sitemap in HTML format is meant for humans.

The Problem

Here's where it gets messy...

Browsers allow you to turn XML files into a more human-readable format.

OSMap implements this feature by default. To a user, it appears sort-of like HTML. But its source code is XML.

One of Joomla's legacy SEO features is the ability to add ".html" to the end of URLs.

When Google discovers ".html" at the end of your page URL and a prettified XML file, it results in a false-negative. 

Google's system thinks that it's not an XML file when it actually is.

How to Fix

The Solution

  • In the menu settings, set the Add Styling parameter to option No:

  • Then submit the URL of that menu item and it should work in Google.