Search Console Index Coverage

Search Engine Optimization of Web Pages

Been receiving messages from Google search engine like this?

Search console has identified that your site is affected by 1 new index coverage related issue. This means that index coverage may be negatively affected in google search results. We encourage you to fix this issue.

Fear no more because RankYa has created easy to understand video tutorials for fixing all index coverage issues, errors and warnings. Simply take your time and learn how to easily have a better optimized website. Please do share this URL so that other site owners experiencing problems shown in the New Search Console can also benefit from learning how to resolve these types of issues.

What is Index Coverage in Google Search Console?

For us to easily understand what index coverage reporting shows us, let’s first understand the process of Googlebot’s crawling compared to indexing. Think of it as 4 step process

Google Crawl and Index Process
Illustrations of Googlebot crawling and indexing process
  1. Fetch URL (example:
  2. Analyze the contents within the web page
  3. Sort the contents (for example: image file, pdf, text, videos)
  4. INDEX the content including keywords and store it in Google Servers

Knowing this, now its easier to understand that crawling and indexing are two completely different processes

Difference Between Crawling and Indexing

Difference Between Google Crawling Versus Indexing Process
Difference Between Google Crawling Versus Indexing Process

Crawl = Fetch URL >

When Search Console Index Coverage shows any Crawl Errors (such as 404 Not Found or 5xx Server Errors), it basically means that Googlebot (Google’s web crawler bot) can NOT even access the URL it is trying to access. These types of issues are usually related to robots.txt file directives , or, web server file problems

Index = Store Content in Google’s Database

When Google CAN access the URL but it is having issues understanding the landing page content, this translates in to indexation issues. Usually, these types of problems are to do with incorrect setup or optimization of web site’s HTML. For example: serving

<meta name="Googlebot" content="noindex">
<meta name="robots" content="noindex">

All Index Coverage Errors in Google Search Console Must Be Fixed

Its simply important to fix any and all errors shown in the New Search Console Index Coverage Reports because if Google does not put the contents in its index, then, it won’t be able to show that content.

To demonstrate the importance of this point. Let’s imagine that a given URL on a website is ranked for Keyword-A and is receiving 500 targeted website traffic each day. If all of a sudden there are index errors, and, Google decides to exclude that URL from its index, then, that’s a huge loss as you can imagine. This is why index coverage related errors in Google Search Console must be analyzed and fixed.

Video Tutorials by RankYa That Explains What Index Coverage Report Is All About

Indexing Issues in Google Search Console Means Indexing Errors for Landing Pages Which In Return Affects Google Rankings

As you now know that if Google can not index content on your website, then, it won’t be able to show it to its searchers. Critically, if the landing page you have is bringing in good amount of organic traffic each day, and, all of a sudden Google is having indexing errors can mean you lose that once enjoyed free organic website traffic. Meaning, it is the Index Coverage Errors you must fix first. Or least identify why Google had, or is having these errors.

How to Fix Index Coverage issues detected in Google Search Console – WordPress

Above all else, focus on resolving problems regarding indexation of web pages because they are the most important for higher Google rankings

How to Fix Submitted URL Not Found 404 – Google Search Console Index Coverage Error Report
Fixing Server Errors 5xx WordPress – Google Search Console Index Coverage Error Report
Google Search Console > Index Coverage > Excluded > Crawled – Currently Not Indexed

Excluded Reports show what Google is not willing to put in its Database (thus, not index it, exclude it). Usually, this is intentional by the site owner or Content Management Systems setup. If it isn’t then, its best that you find out why Google is rejecting these URLs to be placed in its index. New search console reports is your website’s friend because now you can see the reason why Google is excluding these URLs.

Google Search Console > Index Coverage > Excluded > Duplicate page without canonical tag
Google Search Console > Index Coverage > Excluded > Soft 404
Google Search Console > Index Coverage > Excluded > Alternate page with proper canonical tag
Google Search Console > Index Coverage > Excluded > Blocked by Robots.txt
Google Search Console > Index Coverage > Excluded > Not Found 404
Page with Redirect
Google Search Console > Index Coverage > Excluded > Crawl Anomaly
Google Search Console > Index Coverage > Excluded > Excluded by ‘noindex’ Tag
Google Search Console > Index Coverage > Valid > indexed but not submitted in Sitemap

Validating Fixes

Once you are comfortable with troubleshooting of these errors, warnings and issues, its time to validate. Simply press on Validate button and let Google automatically check the issue. You can always press on SEE DETAILS button to see the progress

Validation of search console index coverage issues

What if Validation Fails?

Although you can always re-validate issues by pressing on start new validation option, its smart to triple check your previous validation results before you re-validate. Keep in mind to allow at least few days before you even begin the validation process as it may take Google some time to see the changes you made on your site.

re-validating of search console index coverage issues

Author: RankYa

Online Entrepreneur, Qualified Web Developer, Google AdWords and Google Analytics Professional. Specialist in: Google SEO, Website Optimization, WordPress, Structured Data, JSON-LD, Microdata, Microformats, RDF, Vocabulary, HTML5, Advanced Image Optimization, Google Search Console, Google Webmaster Guidelines, Social Media Marketing, Facebook marketing and YouTube video ranking.

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