A URL marked as noindex is still being listed in your XML Sitemap.
Why is this important?
Your XML Sitemap should serve as an invitation for search engines to index particular URLs. If a URL is tagged as noindex, it should not be in the sitemap since you're telling search engines to ignore it.
Therefore, there's a contradiction when a noindex URL is found in the sitemap, which could unintentionally lead search engines to index such URLs.
What does the Optimization check?
The Optimization is activated when an internal URL set to noindex is discovered in your submitted XML Sitemaps.
Examples that trigger this Optimization:
For instance, the URL: https://example.com/page-a is present in a submitted XML Sitemap.
The Optimization would be set off by this URL if it includes a noindex directive in either the of the document or in the HTTP response header, like so:
In the of the document:
<!doctype html><html lang="en"><head> <title>Page Title</title> <meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow"> ...</head><body> ...</body></html>
Or, within the HTTP response header:
HTTP/1.1 200 OK...X-Robots-Tag: noindex
How do you resolve this issue?
The "Critical" status of this Optimization indicates a severe issue that could negatively affect your site's visibility in search results. Priority should be given to addressing Critical problems.
The existing configuration is flawed and could lead to indexing complications.
To remedy the situation, take one of these actions:
If the URL must remain noindex, ensure to remove it from any XML Sitemaps, then resubmit the sitemaps using Google Search Console.
If the URL is meant to be indexed, eliminate the noindex directive from the page.