Google is brutal with sitemap errors. Be Warned!
Google has de-listed my game servers startup from its indexes. I went from a steadily climbing position to being not listed instantly. Why you ask? What pisses off the Google gods? Not much, apparently.
You see, I use vim to write all my websites. I know its not the best way to do things but gosh darn-it for some reason I just always end up coming back to it. One of the shortcuts in vim is Shift-A. This starts editing at the end of a line.
I was happily updating my sitemap by hand when I ended up pressing Shift-A on extra time. Unknowingly, I committed that miss-placed capital “A” into my sitemap and published it. Google happily crawled my sitemap not too long later and found the typo. They could have looked the other direction and threw a warning on webmaster tools, but instead they entirely de-listed me. Sounds fair to me.
But, theres a ray of hope. Chrome has built-in XML error checking. If you simply open up your sitemap in Google Chrome before actually making it live, it will display any validation errors in big red letters at the top of the page.
I of course fixed problem as soon as I saw it i webmaster tools and resubmitted my sitemap. Google even shows my pages as indexed but just will not display them in searches. I’m assuming is a temporary thing and that they’ll re-list me, but I can only guess. They’ve crawled and accepted my new site map, but are apparently waiting over a week to re-list me!
I’m sorry Google! Stop the madness! Can’t we be friends?!