How to Fix Search Console Index Coverage Issues

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).

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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