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"403 page in sitemap" error in Site Audit
"403 page in sitemap" error in Site Audit

Learn more about the "403 page in sitemap" issue in Ahrefs' Site Audit and how to fix it on your website.

Nick Churick avatar
Written by Nick Churick
Updated over a week ago

What triggers this issue?

This issue reports all URLs listed in the website’s sitemap files that return the 403 (Forbidden) HTTP status code.

Why is it important?

Sitemap file of a website must list all the pages you want search engines to crawl and index. Besides, Google uses sitemaps data as one of the factors when selecting canonical URLs.

Search engine crawlers will not be able to crawl (and index) the pages they do not have access to.

This can result in indexability issues on your website.

How to fix it?

Your sitemap files must only include the live URLs that return the 200 (OK) response code.

Remove the URLs that return 403 response from your sitemaps.

Please note that the URL may return the 403 (Forbidden) response code to our crawler specifically due to the DoS protection system or the firewall configuration of the web server. Check if the reported URLs are accessible from your browser. You should also check if these URLs appear in Sitemaps Report in Google Search console.

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