The Comprehensive Guide to Google Search Console Coverage Warnings

The Google Search Console’s coverage report tells you when a page is valid with a warning. What do these warnings mean? What should you do about them?

What’s wrong with Google Search Console coverage warnings?

These pages appear in Google. Are you sure you want them to? Google is guessing that you want them to appear in search results. Of course, “appearing” and “ranking” are two different things.

What are the kinds of coverage warnings in Google Search Console?

There is only one warning in this report: Indexed, though blocked by robots.txt. This means Google added it to its index (and could be found) even if you don’t want it to be.

What do you do about an indexed, though blocked by robots.txt warning in Google Search Console?

  1. Do you want this page to be indexed? If so, you need to take no action here. It’s already in Google’s index.
  2. If you don’t want this page in Google, you need to add a noindex robots meta tag to the page, or require a login to view this page.

What can you do about an indexed without content warning in Google Search Console?

Google is telling you that they’ve indexed your content although it appears to be blank (without content). You need to decide if this is intentional before you know what do do about it.

If you don’t want Google to see your content, you can ignore this warning. It can’t see the content that you don’t want it to see. It simply appears to be a blank page. This is a false-alarm.

If you want Google to see your content, then you can thank Google for telling you. Investigate why Google can’t see your content. How is your content rendered? Is it rendered using a javascript framework, for instance? If so, you’ll need to fix this so google can read it. Note: this is not as simple as a page that has been excluded through a robots meta tag or robots.txt page.

While you’re in Google Search Console, take a moment to look at your excluded pages report, too.

If you want to read more, check out what Google has to say about each of these warnings:

Have a question about this process? Ask it here: