Google Search Console (formerly known as Webmaster Tools) is a powerful tool provided by Google for website owners. It provides comprehensive monitoring and reporting of critical web metrics such as search engine crawling and indexing, as well as critical performance and security issues. Page indexing issues refer to instances where the Googlebot is unable to crawl, render or index a web page. In this case, an issue will appear in the Google Search Console Page Indexing Issues report and the user will be notified via email.
The page indexing issues warning in Search Console can range from minor technical issues to serious problems that might impact a website’s performance in the long run. Examples of page indexing issues warnings include:
- soft 404 errors
- robots.txt blockages
- redirect loop issues
- page not found errors
- broken links.
Why Does it Occur?
Page indexing issues can occur for a number of reasons. The most common causes for page indexing issues are related to the structure of a website and its associated redirects, content delivery network (CDN) configuration issues, as well as large pages and content blocks that may take more than two seconds to load. Additionally, a webmasters’ manipulation of the robots.txt file or the use of incorrect META tags can also stop Googlebot from indexing a page.
Often, a page is deliberately blocked from Google indexing it because it offers no value to search results. A cart page or a login page is an example of this. Good SEO work will ensure these pages are marked no index so they are not crawled and indexed by Google. This may trigger a warning in search console, but does not mean it should be indexed.
What Action Do I need to Take?
You can check on the page and the issue in search console. Evaluate the page and consider if you need it in the index. Don’t index it if it is:
- Not really a good page to be discovered in search eg login / admin page
- A duplicate of another page on the site or a page with mostly duplicate content
- A page with not much content on it
If it is a page you want to index, then evaluate the reason why it is blocked in search console. Often there is an incorrect setting in the code of the website.