Google Search Console Coverage Issues (9/16/2020)

In our Office Hours from September 16th, we discussed several Coverage Issues from Google Search Console.

One of the best ways to keep track of any technical issues on your website is through Google Search Console. That’s why you should check it on a weekly basis. Sometimes you might find your site has various coverage issues. These can be scary and intimidating, but worth your time to fix: because Google is telling you that it might be mis-reading your website.

There are several coverage issues about which Google might warn you:

Of course, Google also tells you what pages with which it has no problems.

Like I said, I recommend you look at Google Search Console (and these coverage issues) at least once a week. More often than not, nothing is going to be wrong. But just in case you miss an email notification from Google, your weekly check will help keep you on top of technical issues with your website.

Video Transcript:

David: Welcome to “Office Hours.” Today is September 16th, and we’re here to talk about SEO, and marketing our websites, and all kinds of cool stuff. So, we like to start with some successes that we’ve experienced over the last week. And who wants to share their success story over the last week first?

LaVonya: I’ll go ahead.

David: Yes, please.

LaVonya: Well, I started this last week, the first Tuesday of September. This is my second week, but it’s a business class. I’ve learned a lot of information from the tech side of it, to building a business plan. And I also started my Python class.

David: Oh, wow.

LaVonya: That is self-taught, but it’s free. So, those are the two things I’ve been doing these past two weeks since September started.

David: I look forward to you being a Python expert, and then I can ask you to help me do all kinds of cool SEO things with Python. Ali, did you have a success that you wanted to share?

Ali: I did. So, using our analytics dashboard, we identified that one of our service lines, the information page on that, had increased traffic last week. So, we published a blog based on that topic, and actually got a lot of interaction with that post, and brought in some new traffic to the site.

David: Hey, great. Is the traffic becoming customers?

Ali: I’m hoping so to be [crosstalk 00:01:57]

David: Okay. I love it. That sounds great. Using data to inform your marketing decisions. It’s super. My success is more like LaVonya’s. I took a class on Monday and Tuesday, from a group called StoryBrand. And branding is something I’m not good at as a marketer, so I, every year or so, I try to take a class in something that is not in my skill set. And I learned so much from this StoryBrand’s workshop. For instance, I, just talking about Curious Ants, I have a hard time describing what Curious Ants is. And I kind of forced myself to admit this is about learning how to do SEO. And I’ve been hesitant to say that, but I think I have to admit that that’s what this is about. And I’ve realized that the real difference is that you learn SEO by doing SEO, not just, I’m gonna teach you something, but you do it.

So, you’ve kind of learned by doing, so you can kind of expedite your results because you’re learning while you’re doing it. So, I’m going to kind of repivot how I describe Curious Ants on the website, and how I describe it when I speak at conferences, and stuff like that. So, I’m excited to kind of move that forward, but I’m also excited to be able to offer this to clients, because I think a lot of clients have a real hard time describing what they do in a way where their customers would want to know that. Like, yeah, we all provide something, but how do we say it in a way where we’re actually addressing what customer is looking for.

So, look forward to… I’m gonna change the CRO, the conversion rate optimization process, to reflect what I’ve learned through StoryBrand. And so I’m going to update the Curious Ants process based on what I’ve learned. So, that could… so, like, a couple weeks ago, LaVonya asked some questions about CRO and conversion rate optimization. A lot of this StoryBrand stuff helps with that. So I’m going to try to add as much as I can to the process, and let you all benefit from what I learned. That’s my success story.

Well, cool. So, we’re all successful, and that means none of us have any questions about SEO or anything like that. So, great. Thanks for showing up. Unless you have a question.

LaVonya: I did, but I didn’t write it down. It was on my mind. I can’t remember what it was.

David: We’ll do a Vulcan mind-meld. Ali, do you have a question that you were thinking of?

Ali: Yeah, I think I sent one in. Didn’t I?

David: Did you send one in?

Ali: Yes. I was responsible [crosstalk 00:05:02]

David: Oh my goodness, I’m so embarrassed. I didn’t even see it. I didn’t even see it. Let me pull up my sheet and see if I can see it. Well, looky there. It came in while I was doing something else. There we go. So, Ali’s question is loading. So, you says, you got an alert from Google Search Console that there are some coverage issues, and you would like to know how to fix them. Also… Okay, yeah. So, let’s start with the first one. Yeah. So, there’s two really good questions in here. So, Google Search Console is a great way to kind of keep up with your technical issues on your website, because this tell…Google Search Console’s how Google communicates with us to tell us if Google ever has a problem reading anything in your site. Now, a lot of us use WordPress sites, and so, a lot of these WordPress sites are really good at allowing Google to read. So, we rarely come up with a serious problem. But if there is a problem, and we have a Search Console account, we’ll actually get an email from Google saying, “Hey, there’s an issue.” So, Ali, can you tell us what that issue said?

Ali: No, because I… So, what happened was, I originally got that issue, the notification for it. And then I followed the link to try to fix it, and I went to, like, verify it. It says it was a coverage issue on our website index, though blocked by robots, which is, like, gibberish to me.

David: Okay. Okay. Well, that’s fair. That’s fair.

Ali: So, I thought I was doing what it should do, but now it emailed me again and said that your fix failed. So, I am a little bit at a loss, kind of thing.

David: That’s okay. That’s okay. Because this, again, are technical stuff, and it’s, you know, we’re doing the Google Search Console to understand technical issues, but if we’re not technical website builders, we don’t always understand what the technical issues are. Sometimes we have to bring in someone who’s more technical. So, I bet you it said, indexed, although blocked by robots.txt.

Ali: It says, “Indexed, though blocked by robots.txt.”

David: Okay, okay. Okay, great. So, let me explain to you what this means, and then we can figure out what to do with it. So, robots.txt is a file on your website. It’s just a text file. All it has is words. And it tells Google, or another robot, what you want it to look at, and what pages you don’t want it to look at. So, it’s a way of saying, “Hey, Google, go here. Don’t bother to go there.” Okay.

Woman: Okay, I’ll stop.

David: Oh. My Google Voice has activated.

Woman: The mic’s off.

David: Now it’s off. We should, like, take a drink every time I talk about Google and my Google Voice goes off. So, it’d be a drinking game. It’d be great. We’ll be drunk by the end of this. So, in other words, what this is telling you is that you’ve told Google not to index a particular page, in your robots.txt file. However, Google’s decided to index it anyway. So, what we need to find out is, number one, which page of your website has been indexed. And then we can decide whether or not we do want Google to index it or not, and then, what we’ll do about it. So, do you know what page this is indexed? It should tell you.

Ali: It says, “New coverage issue detected for site,” and it has, like, our landing page site. It just, you know,

David: Okay. And that’s in the email. Can you log in the Search Console?

Ali: Yeah. Yeah. I’m in Search Console now.

David: Okay. Let me see if I… Let me get in there so I can navigate for you. So, and we’re gonna find the coverage issues. So, when you’re looking at Search Console, on the left-hand column, under index, is something called Coverage. Do you see that?

Ali: Yes.

David: Click on Coverage. And so, at the very top, you should see a red box that says “Error.” Next to it is a box that says “Valid with warnings.” Click on that, it becomes yellow.

Ali: Yep.

David: Next one says “Valid.” Click on that, it becomes green. And next, it’s “Excluded.” And that, click on that, and it’s gray. So, now, on a [inaudible 00:10:49], you should have… what this is telling you is what Google has copies of on your website. And it’s categorized them. Errors, meaning Google was trying to get something it can’t. Valid with warnings meaning, hey, you know, we’re able to see this and we’re not sure if you want us to see it. Valid means, hey, we see it and we think you want us to see it. And excluded means, we see it. We don’t want it in our index. I don’t know if you want it in our index, but it’s not in our index. It’s probably under the yellows. So, if you deselect everything but your yellow, it should…does that list the same error?

Ali: Yeah, the “indexed though blocked.” Yeah.

David: Okay. So, click on the word “Indexed though blocked.” Does it list any URLs?

Ali: Oh. It does.

David: Okay. What are the URLs saying?

Ali: It’s our sign-up. So,

David: Okay. So, there’s something telling Google not to index the signup page. Do you want Google to index the signup page for this site? In other words, what are people signing up for?

Ali: Let me see. I have to… Yes, it’s for our newsletter. So, yes, we do want that indexed.

David: Okay. Well, so then, what we have to do is see why Google is excluding that from your page. So, can you view the source, the HTML of…you know how to view the HTML of a page? Or if you don’t, give me the URL, and I can do it from here.

Ali: Should I share my screen with you or is [crosstalk 00:12:56]

David: Put it in the chat.

Ali: Okay.

David: And then I’ll just open it up and share my screen.

Ali: So, just the page that’s [inaudible 00:13:08]?

David: Yeah. There it is. There it is. Okay. Okay. So, I’m going to share my screen, and we’re going to troubleshoot this live, which is always fun because it never goes right. All right. Let me just move this over. Okay. So, this is the page that is… Okay. So, this is interesting. So, the URL you sent me is different from this URL we’re seeing here, right? You sent me something like grahambehaviorservices/signup.


David: You’ll notice this says So, this is on… or you must be using another service to manage your emails.

Ali: Yeah, we use Mailchimp.

David: Mailchimp. Okay. So, I imagine this page actually exists [inaudible 00:14:16] Mailchimp. This is something you set up at Mailchimp. Is that correct?

Ali: This is something our web developer set up, so I don’t know.

David: Okay. Okay. Yeah, I know her. She probably set it up at Mailchimp for you. So, Mailchimp is telling Google not to index it. And we can do that, we can test that in a couple ways. We can view the source of the page, and we can look for the word “noindex,” which doesn’t exist here. So, it’s not being excluded by a meta tag. So, then the next option, it could be excluded by the robots.txt. There you go. Okay. So, this is a robots.txt file. I don’t know if you can read it in the screen very well. And what this is saying is to different agents, meaning different robots, what they’re allowed to see and what they’re not. So, the Twitter bot is disallowed nothing. There’s nothing after the word “disallow.” The Facebook external hit disallows nothing. However, everything else, everything is disallowed.

Ali: Does that seem correct? I feel like no.

David: Well, so, this becomes kind of an interesting decision, because do you really need to see… Okay, in order for people to use this, does it need to be indexed by Google?

Ali: I don’t know.

Ali: No, probably not, right? Because they’re coming to it from your website. So as long as they can get to it, we might not care whether Google can index it or not. So it might be a moot point, like, who cares? Mailchimp says they don’t want Google at this, but they will allow Twitter and Facebook to access it, but Mailchimp does not allow Google. Now, there might be a setting in Mailchimp to allow Google to do it, but I’d suggest, I don’t think you need people to go to Google and search, “I wanna sign up for Graham Behavior Services email list,” and find this page on Mailchimp and sign up. As long as people are signing up, that’s the important thing.

Ali: Great. Okay.

David: And so, what Google, in Search Console, is telling you is that, “Hey, we can’t read the page.” Well, now we know why. The robots.txt in Mailchimp says “Nope, Google’s not allowed to read this page.” So, we have to decide whether that matters or not, and I’m suggesting it probably doesn’t because, like, it’s not likely that people are going and signing up for your email list…

Ali: Right. Via Google.

David: Right. In fact, maybe you don’t want people to be able to do that, because you want people who are sincerely interested in your email to sign up, not random people looking to sign up on an email list, right? You want relevant customers. So, that’s, I’d suggest that it’s probably, okay. So, Google is warning you, “Hey, we’ve…” actually that the notice is indexed, although blocked by robots.txt. So, what now is going on is Google’s saying, “I know the robots.txt says don’t. I’ve indexed it anyway.” So, contradicting what we just said, do we want it? Well, probably not, but Google’s done it anyway. So, in other words, someone theoretically could find this page on Google. If they did, is that the end of the world? Probably not. Does it help? Probably not. So, we can basically just ignore that notification from Google.

Ali: Will it just go away eventually?

David: No. It won’t. Because Google… just, Google wants you to know, by the way, we’ve indexed this, and you might not want it indexed.

Ali: That’s super annoying.

David: So, for those of us, you and I, who like to clear out all of our things, you know, we’ve talked about this when we talked about green lights in Yoast, right? That’s annoying, but it’s actually helpful, because what if later we find that, wait, we don’t want Google to index this, or for some reason, and we at least have a record that Google has indexed it. So, lesson served that’s important to note, for everybody, is that robots.txt is something Google might ignore. So you should never hide important things that you absolutely can’t allow Google to find with the robots.txt file. So, for instance, God forbid, you can store your customer’s credit card numbers in an Excel sheet on your website. You know, please never do that.

Ali: Yeah, I know.

David: And if you do that, definitely don’t put it in the robots.txt, because all that does is tell people what you don’t want them to see. I have a friend who used to go, and he used to offer a service to find things on company websites that they were hiding, that weren’t really hidden. And his first place he would look is the robots.txt, to see where stuff was that he shouldn’t be finding. So, it’s a suggestion, and let’s remember that, and don’t use it. Does that make sense?

Ali: Yeah, it does.

David: Is there another URL in that list, that…just that one. So you can ignore it.

LaVonya: So, was this a mistake, and Google picked it up?

David: So, what this is, is Mailchimp doesn’t want Google to view this page. And Google gave Mailchimp the finger and said, “We’re gonna index it anyway.”

LaVonya: Oh, okay.

David: And it’s probably because there are links to this page from Ali’s site. And Google said, “There’s enough links on this page, it looks to me like you want us to index it, so I’m gonna index it.” And there are ways to prevent Google from indexing it. Robots.txt is just a suggestion. And Google is trying to warn you, “Hey, in case you really, really don’t want us to see it, we want you to know we’re seeing it and we’re telling everybody else about it.” In case it was something like, for instance, you know, you deal with clients, what if you put some sort of…what’s the term? The educational plan. What if you put an educational plan for a client on your website for someone to see? Well, you really don’t want the world to be able to find that educational plan. And Google would be warning you in this case, “Hey, you told us you don’t want anybody to see it, but we’re seeing it and we’re indexing it, and we need you to know that.” And then you’d be like, “Oh, thank you.” You can’t use the robot.txt to prevent that. There are ways to prevent it. The most important one is use a password. Google cannot enter passwords, so if you don’t want something indexed by Google, put it behind a password. And that’s the best way to do it. But robots.txt is a suggestion, and Google, in this case, said, “Nope, there’s enough links to this, we think you want us to index it anyway.” And they gave Mailchimp the middle finger and indexed it, and there you go.

LaVonya: So, if they indexed it, that means that they put it out there for people to see, but they still warned you at the same time, instead of blocking it first, and then warning you?

David: Right. Right. So, it was blocked until Ali got the notification, in which case, it’s now in the index. And so that means, theoretically, we should be able to go to Google and find a search phrase for which to find that page. The likeliness of that happening is pretty small, and we’ve decided it doesn’t really matter if people can find it or not. But if it were something important, like an educational plan, or a list of credit card numbers, or list of clients and their phone number, like, yeah, you’d need to know that, and you’d want to remove that right away. But just know, please don’t ever share that stuff on your web… That’s not the secure way to do that. We could talk about ways to share information securely, but that’s not it. All right. You had another question. I’m gonna look it up. “Also, I would like to go through and save the process for identifying the 404 errors again, if possible.” Okay. So, those were also in Search Console. You said “again,” but I’m not recalling when we did this previously.

Ali: I think, like, two weeks ago on my Analytics dashboard, it showed a 404 error, and we went through how to find it, and it turned out it was me.

David: That’s right.

Ali: But now, I had one show up this week, and I couldn’t remember how to ident… I thought I remembered how, and I tried to do it, but then it showed nothing. So I’m trying to see where that error came from.

David: Okay. Okay. So, do you mind sharing your dashboard with us so we can see it? And then what we could do is find it together. I do want to update this process with an additional step.

Ali: For sharing screen, you have to…

David: Oh, yeah. I gotta give you permission, don’t I?

Ali: Yep.

David: How do I… Okay. Now you should be able to. Can you share now?

Ali: Let’s see.

David: Great. Let’s go to your dashboard. Okay. So, you have one 404 page. You’re doing pretty good. Okay. I see what happened here. And this is the step I want to add to the processes, so I’m glad you’re pointing this out because this’ll remind me to do this. So, let me show you, if you click on the pencil associated with 404 pages, it shows you how it’s finding it. So, what it’s doing is it’s finding it, it says filter this data by page titles containing the word “Not Found.” Okay? So, I’m going to show you the step I want to add to our processes, and let’s just… So, hit Cancel here for me, please. And go to, over on the left-hand column, the word Behavior. And then go to Site Content, All Pages. Okay. So, if you scroll down a little bit, you’ll see all pages, but we want the page title. So, at the top of this table, above secondary dimension, is the word “Page Title” in blue. Click on that. And eventually, it will load, doo, doo, doo, doo. All right. So, this is the same pages, but instead of listing by URL, it’s listing by the title of the page.

Ali: Okay.

David: So, if you go into your little search box there, you type the word “not found,” and then hit the Enter or whatever. There you go. That graph is just exactly like your graph there. In fact, it’s the same data, page title and not found. Okay. So, there you go.

Ali: Oh, and then I click on it, and it was this?

David: Well, so, if you actually click on the, over to the right, if you click on…to the right of the URL, there’s a little two-box with an arrow, it’s really small. Click on that, it’ll open up, usually in a new window, the page.

Ali: That’s a problem.

David: Okay. So, that page is gone.

Ali: Interesting.

David: And now, is the page showing 404 still?

Ali: It’s showing page not found.

David: Okay, because we can’t see that. We can only see the original… that’s okay. We don’t need to see it. So, it says Page Not Found, so that’s a problem, and that’s why we set this thing up. But let’s do an extra step here before we clear out of here. Before we do anything, closer to the top of your screen, scroll to the top of your screen, there’s a button that says Save. We’re going to save this report. And enter a name for the saved report. I just change the name to “404 Pages.”

Ali: Now, wait. Should I go back to before I clicked on the 404 [crosstalk 00:29:02]?

David: No, and I’ll tell you why. But go ahead and hit OK. So, right now, you’ll see ba, ba, ba, ba, ba. Now you see a change on the left-hand side for behavior to saved reports. So, this report is saved for you to get back to any time. Like, here’s the best… This is why we didn’t go back. If you look at the… under 404 Pages, which is the name that we gave this report, it says “ALL,” and it says, “PAGE TITLE,” “Page not found.” Okay? So, this is a list of all the pages that have a page title that are “Page not found.” If you scroll down…

Ali: Gotcha.

David: …you get the URL. So now you know which pages are not found.

Ali: Okay.

David: Okay? So, before we get back here, let me do something really quick. Go to your dashboard for a second, and this is what I need to add to the process. Go. So, go to your 404 Pages, and hit the pencil here. So, you see at the bottom, above the Save button, it says “Link to Report or URL?” Type 404 in there. And see how it says “Shortcuts/404 Pages?” Done. You can now hit Save. Okay. So, now, when you find a new 404 page in your dashboard, you click on the word 404 Pages there, it takes you to that report.

Ali: Perfect.

Ali: That’s the streamlining I want to add. So, go ahead and click on 404 Pages, and this should bring us back to the same report. There we go. Page Not Found, scroll down there. Okay. So, now you know which page was removed from your site for some reason.

Ali: Perfect.

David: You also know when.

Ali: Right.

David: So, if that’s intentional… Sorry?

Ali: Now, it only shows because someone tried to navigate to that page, right?

David: Exactly. That’s the downside of this report. This report only shows when someone tries to visit a page that’s been removed from the site. Now, if you go into Search Console, I can show you where we would find all those pages. I do the same thing.

Ali: It never auto-populates for me. I don’t know why.

David: Yeah. All right. Okay. So, if you go back to Coverage, and you go to Excluded, click on Excluded, and you scroll down, there are two places you’re going to find your real 404 pages, or several places. One is “Crawl anomaly,” and one is “Soft 404.” So, those are 404 pages… Oh, and there’s also “Not Found (404).” Those are 404 pages Google’s found, that users haven’t necessarily visited. Okay? We’re not going to do this right now, but every time we find a 404, we have to just ask ourselves a question. Number one, is that page supposed to be found? So, let’s take the example of the page that we found in Google Analytics that was not found. The employment opportunities. Was that page supposed to be up, or was it supposed to be removed?

Ali: Yeah, it was supposed to be up.

David: Okay. So, what we need to do is go back simply, and let’s not do it while we’re sharing your screen…is go in and see where it is, and add it again. Somebody removed it accidentally, and that’s why we check this, because you have several people in your company who are…potentially could access the website. Someone might have made a mistake. And so, now we can fix the mistake simply by putting the page back up, or recreating a page with the same URL.

Ali: Okay.

David: Now, what you’re also going to want to do is you might go through Crawl anomaly, Soft 404, Not Found (404), and just make sure there aren’t other pages that you think should exist.

Ali: Yeah, like these two, definitely. A lot of these…

David: There’s the employment opportunities again. [crosstalk 00:33:58]

Ali: Yeah. This, this, this, this, these should all…

David: Well, here’s how we double-check. So, go up to Services, and hover over that, and over to the right, you see a box with an arrow. Open that page up. Okay, that page is removed as well.

Ali: This is so weird. But now if I…

LaVonya: Didn’t that show up in a admin window when she clicked on it?

David: No, it, I mean, she’s signed in.

Ali: So maybe it’s an old link.

David: It could very well be an old link, maybe from an old website.

Ali: Maybe.

David: So, Search Console… Google has a long memory, I should say, and they can remember pages that have existed years and years before. And so, it sounds to me like this is probably an old page for an old website.

Ali: Maybe.

David: If that’s…

Ali: I know that they redid the page this year.

David: Okay. So, if the page is supposed to exist, but doesn’t, like employment opportunities, we need to recreate it. When we recreate it, we gotta use the same URL. Otherwise, Google… Well, there’s other alternatives, but ideally, it’s the same URL. If it’s a page that doesn’t need to exist anymore, let’s say services… Well, that’s interesting.

Ali: Yeah.

David: So, if it’s a page that shouldn’t exist anymore, what we do at that point is we need to set up a 301 redirect. And what a 301 redirect does is tell Google “Hey, we know that services page doesn’t exist anymore, but we want this other page to replace it.” Okay?

Ali: Okay.

David: So, like, the services page…let’s assume for a moment that the services page is from an old website. Is there one page on your site that talks about all the services that you have to offer?

Ali: I’m actually not sure. I think it might be our landing page, which obviously doesn’t have, you know, anything after the slash?

David: Oh, so you mean the homepage?

Ali: Yeah.

David: Okay. So, that might be an option. So, when you do the redirect, ideally, we want to find the most relevant page that exists currently on our site that relates to the old page. If you have no other choice, do the homepage. But there’s probably a better page than the homepage to set up a 301 redirect towards. And so, what that will involve is you going through your site and saying, okay, is there a page that talks about services? That might be, like, a page that talks about all your services. It might be, like, your most important service page. But so, you’ll want to do is set up a 301 redirect to point from this old page that doesn’t exist anymore to your page that does exist on your current site.

Ali: Okay.

David: And what that’ll do is Google will say, “Oh, okay,” and will take this out of your 404 list, and instead, show the new page. Plus, anytime someone tries to visit an old page, they will get to the new page, rather than this page that says, “Hey, that page doesn’t exist.” What this does is it helps consolidate link authority, because there might be links to that old service page. If there are links on other websites to the other services page, your website now is not getting credit for them, because it hits a 404. If there are links to this old service page, and you 301 redirect them, now, the page to which the 301 redirect is pointing gets credit for those links. And that is really good, because what we talked about last week, and how important links are. So, now, there’s several ways you can add links to your website. Your web host can do it. In WordPress, you can use a plugin. I use Simple 301 Redirects. It’s a really easy plugin. You say, “From this page,” meaning the old page, “to that page,” meaning the page that you want it to go to. Some of these, like this search_term_string, that’s okay. That’s just a technical thing. Let that go.

Ali: That one I’ll have to look at.

David: Now, sometimes you can do, these will come from, like, if you make a typo in a link to a page. And so, that’s great. Then you gotta find the typo, and all you gotta do is change the link to go to the right page.

Ali: Okay.

David: But this is one of those things that’s probably a great idea to do with every new website, and check now and then, because these are wasted opportunities. At the least, a human comes to this old page and goes, “Oh, I guess this business doesn’t exist anymore, because that page isn’t found anymore,” and leaves. That’s like, oh, we just lost a potential customer. But we’re also losing the authority from Google if there are links to that old page. So, it’s worth looking through these, set up a redirect. You might have to talk to your web developer or your web host to help you set up the redirects, or you can use the… since you’re using WordPress, the Simple 301 Redirects plugin, and then set up a redirect from-to. Test it. So, you know, go to the old URL, and see if your page goes to the new URL. If it does, great. The trick is using a 301 redirect. That’s why I like the Simple 301 Redirect plugin. It’s just, it does it right, and it’s not complicated.

LaVonya: I remember what my question is, but I’ll ask you next week. I wrote it down.

David: Okay.

LaVonya: But basically, it was just dealing with… I don’t think it’s a link, but, you know, citing where you got information from. Is that, like, a backlink?

David: It could be. Okay. I’m glad you’re saving it for next week, because we are running out of time.

LaVonya: Yeah. That’s why I said next week.

David: If you could submit that on the form, that’d be great.

LaVonya: Okay.

David: Yeah, the form for Office Hours. Then we can get it, and we’ll put you first in the queue for next week. All right. It sounds to me like today we successfully uncovered a bunch of problems.

Ali: Yeah, definitely.

David: But that’s good, because solving those problems, it’s gonna help you.

Ali: Yeah, definitely.

David: And so, that, I mean, I’m glad that these were two really super good questions, because these are complicated, and they’re hard to summarize, and succinctly state. There’s a lot of things in Search Console. It’s really helpful, but can sound really scary. So, I’m glad you asked.

Ali: Much more useful than how I use it, which is usually just to look at how people are searching for [inaudible 00:42:08].

David: That’s good, too, though. That’s very reliable, great data. Like, yeah. But let’s make sure Google’s reading your site right. And we’ve already uncovered some problems. And now, you know, the solution is not just set up 301 redirects. The solution is, who deleted the page, and why did you delete the page? And it might be an internal political problem, like, first of all, like, who gets to decide this? And it was decided…how is it communicated to the people that are being held responsible for the search results?

Ali: Yeah. I think it’s most likely a lapse from transitioning from the old website to the new website…

David: Could be.

Ali: …that was overlooked.

David: Yeah. That’s very common. Very common. Yeah. Okay. Well, thank you. It was pleasure spending time with you both, as always.

Ali: Yes.

LaVonya: Thank you.

Ali: Thank you.

David: Thank you. I hope you all have a great week.

LaVonya: You too.

Ali: Yeah. You too.

David: All right. See ya.

LaVonya: Bye-bye.

David: Bye.

Ali: Bye.

Have a question about this process? Ask it here:

Get started doing SEO today

SEO seems hard- you have to keep up with all the changes and weed through contradictory advice. This is frustrating and overwhelming. Curious Ants will teach you SEO while bringing your website more traffic and customers- because you’ll learn SEO while doing it.