How to Fix Search Console Index Coverage Issues

How to Fix Search Console Index Coverage Issues

 In How to

I manage many different Google Search Console properties, and if you also started receiving email message that look like this:

Search Console Index Coverage Issue Message Screenshot

Shows a screenshot image of notice sent by Google Search Console regarding the Index Coverage Issue

Let’s first understand 2 things, IF you are aware of certain pages that you’ve placed noindex meta tag

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

or are using header response directives like this one

Header set X-Robots-Tag "noindex, nofollow"

And then, have XML sitemaps submitted to Google that contain the URL’s which have those noindex directives, then, Search Console Index Coverage errors are triggered.

Warning: this method detailed on this page is only for pages that you do NOT want Google to index (if you are seeing these index coverage errors for pages that you do WANT Google to index, then comment using the form below and let’s take a look how to remedy it) (comment only if you are using WordPress)

How Do You Fix Google Search Console Index Coverage Issues?

Simply remove the URL from the XML sitemap so that Google won’t complain, or, remove the noindex directives

Here’s a Video Showing You How to Using WordPress and Yoast

New 2018  help section suggests

Use this report to learn which of your pages have been indexed, and how to fix pages that could not be indexed

Therefore, the important question at this moment you must answer is “are those pages are pages that you wanted Google to index?” If so, then you have a major problem that you must remedy as soon as possible.

However, if the Search Console index coverage error is for pages that you do NOT want Google to index, then simply remove those URL’s from XML sitemap as that will then fix the warning messages so that you can continue growing your website/business.

Remember: this new search console feature can be confusing to understand because Google is not the only search engine, also, it may actually be perfectly logical to have certain URL’s not in Google index using  instead of complaining about a URL which Google is still aware of (some are from 3 years ago for certain Search Console properties) (but this then suggest historical importance of what you are doing on your website as well as how you are optimizing your website for higher Google rankings).

Lessons for Advanced Users Fixing Index Coverage Issues & Warnings

Google Search Console Index Coverage Report will definitely be useful because many web site owners do not know how to optimize their WordPress site, so thus, they could easily make honest mistakes to noindex their entire website (for this reason, this new Search Console Index Coverage feature is very useful to show site owners of any indexation errors warning issues).

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Showing 15 comments
  • Susana Cardoso
    Reply

    Thank you for your help

  • Shafi Khan
    Reply

    Excellent share. I was worried about the issue and now have fixed it.

    Thanks!

  • Ali
    Reply

    Hi, Sir how to fix this error (omitted) in Google Search Console. Please help me sir. I am waiting for your reply

  • Manoj Prasad
    Reply

    I also get Index coverage issue on my blog but still but still I am not able to solve my issue. I follow you each step. But the error is still showing. What do I do now?

    • RankYa
      Reply

      That could be for various reasons, without further looking in to it I wouldn’t know how you would get the index coverage problem fixed. If you want me to assist you to fix these issues, then, you can hire me, or, simply create an original article related to digital marketing and give a link back to RankYa.com within that article, then we have a trade

  • Shamim
    Reply

    I am getting index coverage issue. I have enabled no index tags in Yoast SEO. I checked in google search console showing all my posts’ URLs which contain tags are marked no index. Should I enable option to index tags or leave the option disabled.

    • RankYa
      Reply

      Hello Shamin, your question regarding a solution for fixing index coverage issue for WordPress tags are legitimate indeed. So, Should I enable option to index tags or leave the option disabled.? NO need keep it disabled.
      Then, IF you’ve submitted XML sitemap to Google Search Console for TAGS, then delete that sitemap and index coverage report for URL’s Marked noindex for tags should disappear. Also, when setting up Yoast Taxonomies, uncheck the tag in search option so that tags are not generated as sitemaps (nothing unique there).

      Then, create a robots.txt file and add this

      User-agent: Googlebot
      Disallow: /cgi-bin/
      Disallow: /wp-admin/$
      Allow: /*.js*
      Allow: /*.css*
      Allow: /wp-admin/admin-ajax.php
      Allow: /wp-admin/admin-ajax.php?action=*
      Allow: /wp-content/uploads/*

      User-agent: *
      Disallow: /cgi-bin/
      Disallow: /wp-admin/$
      Allow: /*.js*
      Allow: /*.css*
      Allow: /wp-admin/admin-ajax.php
      Allow: /wp-admin/admin-ajax.php?action=*
      Allow: /wp-content/uploads/*

      Note, take a look at https://www.rankya.com/robots.txt (towards the end) and you should just have post and page sitemap in there for your robots.txt file as well.

      You can use Yoast to create XML sitemap, or upload a text file and call it robots.txt

  • Denise Crawley
    Reply

    When deleting pages, they become “Not Found” URL errors. I have 144 of them. Is this impacting my SEO? Can I just leave it alone and eventually Google will catch up?
    The pages weren’t around long enough to have achieved search result rankings, I don’t want to redirect them with a plugin and slow my site and my learning curve is pretty steep to figure out how to edit the XML Site map…any suggestions? Thanks!

    • RankYa
      Reply

      Hello Denise, it is impacting Google Rankings ONLY IF there are quality backlinks pointing back to those “Not Found Pages” IF those pages do NOT have quality backlinks, then, it is NOT affecting your Google rankings. Best way to remedy this:

      1 = IF quality backlinks to ANY of those “Not Found” then redirect ONLY those Pages to related content on your website.
      2 = IF NO quality backlinks, then ignore those “Not Found” messages and Google will soon update its end

      Quality baclinks = natural backlinks through shares of your content (NOT automated scrapers giving backlinks). I hope this helps (while here, I encourage you to invest in premium courses (use DigitalMasterySimplified discount code and receive a whopping $100 discount))

  • Jay
    Reply

    Hi, Today Morning I also affected by this index coverage issue in my Website. Thank God Your Article help me a clear understanding of this issues. Thanks a lot

  • Aakash
    Reply

    Hii today I received an email from Google about same issue and got another email after 1 hour informing that “Google has started validating your fix of Index coverage issues on your site. Specifically, we are checking for ‘Indexed, though blocked by robots.txt’, which currently affects 1 pages.” pls help to this situation. thank you

  • Maria
    Reply

    Thanks for sharing about index coverage issue…
    i also received the message from google webmaster for index coverage.. Your tips will really help me to fix this issue..
    Does this issue can drop the ranking ?

    • RankYa
      Reply

      Hello Maria, yes, index coverage errors can have negative effects in Google rankings. For example: if for some reason Google was ranking a particular URL on your site, which now it can not index it due to index coverage errors, will mean that your rankings will drop for that URL if its not fixed. Always tackle the errors first (they are the most important) then warnings should also be remedied. At first at may seem confusing, however, think it like this:

      your site has many URL’s which Google has indexed, then, its usually incorrect SEO plugin settings which generate noindex tags, usually removing noindex tags will solve the issues. If however, you do NOT want certain URL’s to be in Google’s index (for example: WooCommerce Cart page, WooCommerce My Account Page etc.) then, you simply make sure that these type of URL’s are NOT in XML sitemap which you have submitted to Google Search Console. Depending on the Content Management System you are using and the plugin you may be using (simply visit their help section to learn how to remove URL’s from XML sitemap if this example makes sense) if not, you may need to hire someone to fix these Index Coverage Errors (especially IF you end up seeing sudden ranking drops)

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