Unable to process sitemap file in Google?

The general rules for creating and common mistakes with Sitemaps are described in detail in the support manuals. In this article, we will discuss a situation that is atypical and has been occurring more frequently
When adding a Sitemap in the Google Search Console interface, an error 'Not received' appears.
When accessing the required Sitemap section, there is an error 'Failed to process sitemap file' , even though the file itself opens and is accessible
We found various speculations on the internet about the reasons for the issue and possible explanations for why Google is not seeing the Sitemap. We tried all these options and compiled them into a common list to save your time

Reasons and possible solutions:

1. File Location. Google states: "A Sitemap file can be placed anywhere on the site, but it only affects the directories below its parent. Therefore, to have the Sitemap file work for the entire site, we recommend placing it at the root level." - In this project, the files were initially located in the root directory, so we are not considering this option.

2. Underscore “_” Usage. There's a forum thread discussing the use of underscores “_” in file names. You tested this hypothesis and tried various options with and without underscores, but it didn't affect indexing.

3. Request Indexing. Some suggest adding the URL of the Sitemap page to the URL inspection field and "Request Indexing." You tried this multiple times, but it didn't work as a solution.

4. File Size Reduction. Google's recommendations state, "Break large Sitemap files into smaller ones. A Sitemap file can contain up to 50,000 URLs and should not exceed 50MB uncompressed. Instead of individual Sitemap files, send Google an index of the Sitemaps." In practice, you worked with a Sitemap file containing 9,237 URLs, so the issue is not related to the file size.

5. Additional Slashes. Adding two slashes "//" at the beginning of the address or a single "/" at the end of the address, such as sitemap-1.xml/, did not resolve the issue.

6. Removal of Additional Tags. Removing tags like lastmod, changefreq, priority did not resolve the issue.

7. Domain Zone. According to forum responses, ignoring part of the sitemap appears to happen with certain domain zones (.рф, .top, .club). You didn't separately test this hypothesis because you were working with projects in the .ru zone where this problem occurred.

8. Request for Sitemap File Scanning. You can send a request to change the Sitemap file by using the following link
Instead of https://fast-indexing.ru/sitemap.xml, you need to specify the path to your Sitemap file.
In some cases, after making this request in Google Search Console, the date of the file crawl is updated, but this method doesn't always help
Решения которые сработали:

1. Wait: Sometimes, waiting for a few days can be effective. Google has its own crawl pace for each site, and Sitemaps for some websites are scanned all at once. However, there can be cases where even after 12 months since uploading a Sitemap, it still doesn't get the "Successfully Processed" status.

2. .txt Format Instead of .xml: This might work for small websites. There are successful examples, but on larger websites, it may not solve the problem.

3. Direct Page Submission: As of today, the Fast Indexing tool appears to be a more effective method for quickly scanning website pages. The percentage of indexed pages is significantly higher compared to submission via Sitemap.

In your current project, 8,600 URLs were indexed within 5 days using Fast Indexing, while the Sitemap in Google Webmaster Tools still remains in the "Not Received" status. From this, you've concluded that, in the current conditions, it doesn't make sense to invest time in Sitemaps, and it's more efficient to submit pages directly to the index.
*The article discusses an e-commerce website with 9,237 URLs, created using the Advantshop engine
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