See how and why to delete an outdated XML Sitemap from the non-canonical website property in Google Search Console.
Are you getting emails from Google about old stuff that doesn’t exist anymore? This may fix it.
Why You Need to Remove Old XML Sitemaps
Google has told us that you should verify every version of your site property in Search Console.
Most of us have submitted a sitemap to the HTTP canonical version, meaning if our sites were www, then that’s the version we submitted the sitemap to.
When we converted to HTTPS, we verified the two new properties and then submitted our new XML sitemap to the new canonical.
But, we may not have deleted the old sitemap on the original canonical.
And that’s what we need to do now, as it seems to be confusing Google more than helping it figure out what our new links should be.
You may have received an email from Search Console saying there was an issue with a page or post or category that doesn’t even exist anymore.
My bet is that it is coming from that outdated XML sitemap, and it needs to be removed now.
Confirmation from Google
I asked about this issue on the Google Webmaster Central Help Forum.
Hardil confirmed that we only submit the sitemap to the new canonical and that there is no harm in removing the old one.
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see how to delete an outdated XML Sitemap from the non-canonical website property in Google Search Console.
This is especially important to do if you have converted your site to HTTPS.
Be sure to see the notes above this tutorial for why you need to remove the old sitemap, and the issues it may have caused, like notifications from Search Console about problems with posts and pages that no longer exist.
Log into you Google Search Console account.
You should see all 4 versions of your site properties verified.
If you don’t see them all, or see messages that you don’t own the property, or it is not verified, then you may want to take my DIY SEO course that includes multiple tutorials on all of your Google Connections, including both Search Console and Analytics, and tutorials on the Yoast SEO plugin, plus live Workshops.
You’ll want to locate the original canonical version where the old XML sitemap is, and click on it. For most of you, that will be the http www version.
I’m going to scroll down to the very end.
And click on one of my test sites.
From your Dashboard, you will be able to see the Sitemaps section, and you should see graphs of what has been submitted.
If you don’t see graphs, then no sitemap has been submitted to this property.
Click the Sitemap header.
Scroll down to the sitemap list.
Check the box or boxes for the sitemaps listed.
Once you do that, the Delete button will become active.
Click that button.
A pop up will appear to ask you if you are sure.
You may want to check all versions of your site property to ensure you only have a current sitemap on the current canonical version.