Marketing 3 min read

Here's How to use Search Console's Index Coverage Report

Screen grab from Google Webmasters YouTube Page

Screen grab from Google Webmasters YouTube Page

In the latest Search Console training video, Google’s Daniel Waisberg explains how to use the index coverage report.

Search Console’s index coverage report provides users with an in-depth view of the pages that Google has crawled and indexed.

But, it could also provide an insight into the pages that the search engine tried to index. Sometimes, the Googlebot encounters problems when crawling, and the Search Console logs these errors on the report.

Let’s delve a little deeper.

Primary Components of the Index Coverage Report

Here’s a breakdown of the components on the index coverage report.

1. Valid with warnings

The section covers pages that may or may not appear in search results due to various issues. For instance, an indexed page that’s blocked by robots.txt.

2. Errors

These are critical issues that prevent Google from indexing a page. It includes pages with a 404 error, “noindexdirective, or pages with a server error.

3. Excluded

The Excluded section features pages that are intentionally not indexed on the search engine. As a result, these pages won’t appear in search results.

4. Valid

This section contains indexed pages that are eligible to appear in Google search results. The report also has a summary page with a checkbox that shows impressions for indexed pages in Google Search.

After covering the basics in the video, Waisberg addressed an important question:

How Should I Use the Index Coverage Report?

The video recommends that site owners start by checking the chart on the summary page to examine the Valid pages trend.

While you may expect it to be steady, some amount of fluctuations is not uncommon. This could be a result of content being published or removed, which the report would reflect.

Next, consider reviewing the various error sections. Since the Search Console sorts the issues by severity, you can quickly identify the most pressing concerns. Start at the top of the list and work your way down.

After identifying the issue, you can either fix it yourself or share the details with your developer. That way, the developer can make code changes to your website. Finally, click on “Validate Fix” to tell Google to validate the changes.

Daniel Waisberg points out that you don’t need to check the index coverage report every day. That’s because Google sends out notifications when the Search Console detects a new indexing error.

However, the tech company doesn’t send email notifications if a pre-existing error gets worse. So, you must check the report once in a while to monitor existing issues.

See the full video below:

Read More: New Search Console Tools can Help With Domain Changing

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