This blog post will provide a detailed solution of “New Index coverage issue detected” error of new version of Google search console. Once you will update to new search console, most likely, you may get this error.
Following the New Index coverage issue detected error I got for my blog.
To owner of http://www.digitalgenx.com/,
Search Console has identified that your site is affected by 3 new Index coverage related issues. This means that Index coverage may be negatively affected in Google Search results. We encourage you to fix these issues.
Top new issues found, ordered by number of affected pages:
Submitted URL seems to be a Soft 404
Submitted URL blocked by robots.txt
Submitted URL marked ‘noindex’
Index Coverage Issues Successfully Fixed
After following below given tips, I fixed all index coverage issues of my website and get an email notification from Google search console that Index Coverage Issues Successfully Fixed.
Google will inform you about index coverage issue by sending a message on Google search console or you can check it in status report of new search console.
First, let’s understand the problem.
For that, we first need to understand what is index coverage status report?
Index Coverage Status Report
This new report which is included in the new version of Google search console.
This report basically represents pages which are indexed by Google and give error details for pages which could not be indexed.
You can check index coverage report of your website under the status segment of new search console.
Index coverage report is present in form of the bar chart in which each bar in the graph represents the total number of URLs in a particular status (error, valid with a warning, valid, excluded).
Index Coverage Status
The report will show four type of status for website URLs error, valid with warning, valid and excluded.
The top-level report shows the index status of all pages that Google has attempted to crawl on your site, grouped by status and reason.
Every page of your website can have one of the following statuses in Index coverage report
Error: this shows numbers of pages that could not be indexed due to various reasons. To check more details about the specific error, check details report given below that bar graph report. Ideally, error report should not have any page. As many as 8 types of indexing errors can occur during indexing of any webpage.
Valid With Warning: show the number of pages which are indexed but facing some minor issues or they were until recently and has an issue that you should be aware of.
Valid: number of pages indexed without any problem.
Excluded: The page is not included in the index for reasons that you typically cannot affect. The page might be in an intermediate stage of the indexing process, or is deliberately excluded by you (for example by a noindex directive) and is, therefore, behaving as expected.
There are a number of reasons for above-given status, like you may get index coverage issue error due to several reasons. Reasons along with status are given below.
Reason for Index Coverage Issue Detected Error status
- Server error (5xx)
- Redirect error
- Submitted URL blocked by robots.txt
- Submitted URL marked ‘noindex’
- Submitted URL seems to be a Soft 404
- Submitted URL returns unauthorized request (401)
- Submitted URL not found (404)
Reason for warning status
- Indexed, though blocked by robots.txt
Reason for valid status
- Submitted and indexed
- Indexed, not submitted in sitemap
- Indexed; consider marking as canonical
Reason for excluded status
- Blocked by ‘noindex’ tag
- Blocked by page removal tool
- Blocked by robots.txt
- Blocked due to unauthorized request (401)
- Crawl anomaly
- Crawled – currently not indexed
- Discovered – currently not indexed
- Alternate page with proper canonical tag
- Duplicate page without canonical tag
- Duplicate non-HTML page
- Google chose different canonical than user
- Not found (404)
- Page removed because of legal complaint
- Page with redirect
- Soft 404
- Submitted URL dropped
- Submitted URL not selected as canonical
How to check which URL (page) gets index coverage issue
With the help of index coverage status report, you can perform detailed analysis of pages which are getting indexing error or excluded from indexing.
There are two types of reports
- A graph showing URLs by general status (valid, error, warning, excluded).
- A detailed table showing the URLs by status type, and the last time that URL was crawled.
In the second report, website pages are grouped with reasons type. Click on each Error type to check website url (Page) details which are affected due to given error.
After clicking on error type you can check all details of that index coverage error. Like, when an error is first detected, the timeline bar graph of a number of affected pages with error and list pages (URLs) along with crawled date which is affected by the error.
The solution for New Index Coverage Issue Detected Issue
Anyone can easily fix new index coverage issues, Google will send an email in search console inbox, and inside that mail, you will get a link which says “Fix Index Coverage Issues”, by clicking this link you will be redirected to error detail page of index coverage report.
After making all the required changes in each page click on validate fix.
Specific Error and Solution
Fix Server error (5xx): In this case, website server returns 500-level-error when the page is quested by the browser. This is a server issue and you need to contact your hosting provider for the solution of this error. In most of the cases, it is solved automatically.
Fix Redirect error: The URL was a redirect error. Could be one of the following types: it was a redirect chain that was too long; it was a redirect loop; the redirect URL eventually exceeded the max URL length; there was a bad or empty URL in the redirect chain.
Solution: check if redirection code is properly implemented or not. If you are using PHP website then download .htaccess file and make the required changes.
Fix Submitted URL blocked by robots.txt: You submitted this page for indexing, but the page is blocked by robots.txt. If any useful page is blocked by robots.txt file then you can check it with the use of txt tester tool of Google search console and unblock it.
Fix Submitted URL marked ‘noindex’: You submitted this page for indexing, but the page has a ‘noindex’ directive either in a meta tag or HTTP response. If you want this page to be indexed, you must remove the tag or HTTP response. Or simply remove
<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”> tag from that page.
Fix Submitted URL seems to be a Soft 404: You submitted this page for indexing, but the server returned what seems to be a soft 404. A soft 404 means that a URL on your site returns a page telling the user that the page does not exist and also a 200-level (success) code to the browser.
Check if the page is present at server or not.
Fix Submitted URL returns unauthorized request (401): You submitted this page for indexing, but Google got a 401 (not authorized) response.
To solve this error you need to either remove authorization requirements for this page or else allow Googlebot to access your pages by verifying its identity.
Submitted URL not found (404): You submitted a non-existent URL for indexing. Submit the correct URL.
Submitted URL has crawl issue: You submitted this page for indexing, and Google encountered an unspecified crawling error that doesn’t fall into any of the other reasons. To solve this issue you need to try debugging your page using Fetch as Google.
So finally we have the following steps to solve new index coverage issue
Step 1: Check search console message box to find specific error message you are getting regarding the error.
Step 2): Go to search console index coverage report to find out pages which are causing an error.
Step 3): Take help of above-given solutions and fix all errors.
Step 4): Submit for validation by clicking validate fix button.
Conclusion: Google introduced a new search console on 1st Feb 2018 and I get first new index coverage error message on 8th May 2018 in which 4 types of error are mentioned. I simply click on the link which says “Fix Index Coverage Issue” and then clicked on validate fix after few days 3 errors have been solved and only one error is left.
So point is that you need to check index coverage report regularly if pages with error are increasing then try to fix it. If pages with error are very few then you don’t need to worry because in some cases you may want to block some pages from indexing.