Updates for the week ending 1/15/2021

Google recently updated some of their Search Console coverage issues. I’ve updated the process to better help you handle these, when they occur.

Reinforcing my belief that Google Search Console is the best free SEO tool out there, the updates to the coverage reports is even more valuable thanks to Google’s updates.

  1. Google used to have something called a “crawl anomaly” in the Excluded Pages report. Even their definition of this was vague and unhelpful. They’ve removed it and, instead, started describing these anomalies with more helpful issues.
  2. The “Soft 404” report was hard to distinguish from the “404 Errors” within the Excluded Pages report. These are no more accurate.
  3. Related to this is a new issue: “indexed without content” which appears in the Warning report. Many times Soft 404s are really a problem of pages that don’t have content.
  4. The “submitted but blocked” coverage issue was moved from the Error report into the Warning, and listed as “indexed but blocked.” This is interesting in that Google seems to be admitting something I’ve noticed for a while: blocking pages is not preventing Google from indexing them! Pay attention to this!

Have a question about this process? Ask it here:

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