How to Fix Search Console Index Coverage Issues
The new webmaster tools, also known as Google Search Console has new features such as Index Coverage report. Basically, any report under this is to do with how Google crawls webpages and how Google indexes webpages. That means, this report is important and any errors within should be identified and some must fixed.
I manage many different Google Search Console properties, and if you also started receiving email message that look like this:
This report is much easier to understand if you have read how Google Search works first.
How to Fix Submitted URL has Crawl Issue
This is usually to do with robots.txt 301 redirection or it could be to do with your website setup or web server. Here’s a video showing you how to remedy this
Submitted URL marked ‘noindex’
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 for noindex 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 check out other videos by RankYa). For example: wordpress tags shouldn’t really be indexed as individual URL’s which could cause many index coverage issue
How Do You Fix Other 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 Search Console Index Coverage Status report 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 noindex directives 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).