Getting the Most From Google Console Search

Search engine optimization professionals know that the Google Search Console offers a little glimpse of how the indexing and ranking algorithm works. Understanding the information provided by the Index Coverage report can help you understand how the Google search crawler has been coded for the purpose of discovering, gathering information, indexing content, and ranking pages; all these processes must take place before websites appear on the search engine results page (SERP).

When you look at the Index Coverage Report of the GCS, you are essentially presented with technical feedback generated by the crawler. In essence, the report is based on heuristics that can be split into four categories: error, excluded, valid, and valid with warnings. While the liaisons appointed by Google to reach out to the SEO community will always say the this report is mostly for very large websites with hundreds of pages, the reality of index coverage is that it can help anyone who wants to increase organic traffic from search engines.

The valid status is what you should always strive for, and it should apply to all pages of your site; this means that the pages have been indexed. The error status indicates that pages were not indexed because of technical issues. When you have excluded pages, this means that there may be links, scripts, or content that the search engine algorithm will refuse to index and show on the SERP. Finally, the valid with warning status basically means that pages have been indexed but may rank low because of certain issues; this status is the one SEO professionals stand to learn the most from.

Excluded pages will naturally concern SEO professionals, and there are 15 reasons why this may happen. In many cases, these are pages with 401 and 404 errors, which should be easy to clear up and update on the XML sitemap. When this status is supported by "legal complaint" issues, you will have to think about what may have prompted this action; some website administrators are often surprised to learn about competitors filing frivolous requests to remove pages from the SERP; these requests are more likely to be filed in Europe. For more information click here

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