This fairly common error occurs when a URL from your sitemap doesn’t respond in time to a crawler’s request. Whether the issue is temporary or persistent, it is important to know how to detect and fix it before it starts to affect your SEO rankings.
What Does “Timed Out Error URL in the Sitemap” Mean?
It means that the page is listed in your sitemap, but it takes too long for the server to fulfill the request. The time is out, and the page has not been loaded. As a result, the user sees a 504 Gateway Timeout error indicating that the server didn’t respond fast enough. In other words, the main server is timed out while waiting for a response from the upstream server.
What Triggers This Issue?
Typically, the root of the problem is on the server’s side:
- The server is not able to handle the load because a user is crawling the website too quickly.
- The server might be down or overloaded due to the number of requests.
- The problem may be temporary because of recently changing a hosting provider or moving a webpage to another IP address.
Among client-side causes, there are bugs in code, problems with a device, or a poor network connection.
How To Check the Issue
The best tool to find the issue is Google Search Console. The Index Coverage status report contains data about all the pages where search engines have encountered various errors, including URLs that were timed out.
Page from sitemap being timed out analysis is not enough to optimize your site for search engines!
Make a full audit to find out and fix your technical SEO in order to improve your SERP results.
This video by Daniel Waisberg from Google explains how to get a detailed picture of the problem in the errors list of the report.
Why Is This Important?
A clean and updated sitemap plays a crucial role in a website’s performance. It allows search engines to find, index, and rank your pages sufficiently — whereas the timed out pages are not available or crawlable, and they risk remaining ignored. Besides, if the page takes too long to respond, it might negatively impact the user experience.
How To Fix the Issue
The solution depends on the cause of the problem. In case of server issues, you should contact your hosting provider or ask for help from your web developer. There might be server connectivity problems due to scheduled maintenance.
What else you can do to get rid of the 504 error:
- Reload the page and/or restart your devices.
- Deactivate your firewall and check if the page continues to respond with the error. If that’s the case, then change settings or the antivirus program.
- Use Google Search Console to make necessary changes to the code and validate the updates. This article will walk you through a troubleshooting process and help you inspect problematic URLs using the Index Coverage report.
- If the server cannot handle the load, you may change it or slow down the crawling speed in the website settings.