Google updates Index Coverage report

Posted by Edith MacLeod on 12 Jan, 2021
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The changes provide more granular information to help webmasters resolve crawl issues.

Google Indexing Report.

The Index Coverage report, which is found in Google Search Console, shows the indexing state of URLs that Google has visited, or tried to, on your website property.  It shows which of your pages have been indexed and also any problems with indexing your site.

Yesterday, Google announced that it was rolling out “significant improvements” to the report, with a focus on providing more accurate information on existing issues.

It listed the changes as follows:

  • Removal of the generic "crawl anomaly" issue type - all crawls errors should now be mapped to an issue with a finer resolution.
  • Pages that were submitted but blocked by robots.txt and got indexed are now reported as "indexed but blocked" (warning) instead of "submitted but blocked" (error)
  • Addition of a new issue: "indexed without content" (warning)
  • Soft 404 reporting is now more accurate

The Index Coverage report was introduced when Google launched the new Search Console in 2018 and Google says these updates are based on feedback received.

The changes should be helpful to webmasters as they will see more specific information about crawl status and issues and so be better placed to resolve problems.  For example, crawl errors will have more specific information, rather than the generic crawl anomaly definition.

Indexed without Content is a new category:

“This page appears in the Google index, but for some reason Google could not read the content. Possible reasons are that the page might be cloaked to Google or the page might be in a format that Google can't index. This is not a case of robots.txt blocking.”

Source: Google

For more information about the Index Coverage report see Google’s help page here.

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