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Sitemap from Xmap gets 404 Not Found Errors in Google Webmaster Tools when also using sh404sef

I created a sitemap for my Joomla website using Xmap and submitted it using Google Webmaster Tools... After giving Google some time to crawl the site, I checked back, and found that it had recorded a 404 not found error for ALL of my pages. When I clicked on the links for each article, they opened up just fine.

So I did some searching and found that a lot of people who use sh404sef have problems with submitting sitemaps to Google, especially when using Xmap. Their sitemap was being generated using non-SEF URLs, but as soon as Google tried to access that page it would redirect to the SEF URL. I opened up my sitemap and confirmed it was not the case - there were only SEF URLs in my XML sitemap.

I found an external sitemap tool at auditmypc.com which gave me some more info and allowed me to do some testing in real-time. When I generated the sitemap, the first 10 pages loaded with no error, and the rest gave a 403 forbidden.

I thought, "this sounds like a connection limit" - and was about to ask my web host if they had a connection limit - when I remembered that sh404sef has some security options. I opened up the extension's configuration page and found a "flood protection" setting.

  1. Click on Components > sh404sef > Control Panel
  2. Click on the Security Configuration icon
  3. Open the Anti-flood configuration
  4. You can either select "No" on the "Activate anti-flood" option, or change the "Max number of requests" setting

I just disabled the anti-flood protection and checked back a few days later, fixed!