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Google Search Console is a powerful tool that helps website owners and webmasters monitor their site's performance in Google's search results. As you navigate the various sections of the Search Console, you may encounter errors and warnings. These notifications are important indicators of issues that need attention to ensure your website is properly indexed and visible to users. In this article, we'll explore common errors and warnings you may encounter in Google Search Console and how to address them.
Crawl errors occur when Googlebot, Google's web crawler, encounters difficulties accessing your website. There are two types of crawl errors:
Soft 404 Errors
Soft 404 errors are displayed when a page returns a 200 (OK) status code instead of the expected 404 (Not Found) status code. This may mislead search engines and users, as the page doesn't exist but appears as if it does. To fix this, ensure your server returns the correct HTTP status code (404) for non-existent pages.
Access Denied Errors
Access denied errors occur when Googlebot cannot access specific pages or directories due to server configurations or permissions. Check your website's robots.txt file and server settings to ensure the necessary pages are accessible to Googlebot. Additionally, verify that you haven't accidentally blocked important resources.
Index Coverage Issues
Index coverage issues relate to problems encountered when Google tries to index your website's pages. Search Console provides detailed information about the following index coverage statuses:
Pages marked as "Error" are not indexed due to critical issues. Common causes include server errors, redirect loops or page content issues. Inspect the affected pages to identify and resolve the underlying problems.
Valid with Warnings
Pages marked as "Valid with Warnings" may have minor issues that could affect their performance in search results. Review the warnings provided and make necessary improvements to enhance your page's visibility
Mobile Usability Issues
With the increasing importance of mobile-friendly websites, Google Search Console also alerts you to potential mobile usability issues. These issues are identified when pages on your site do not meet Google's mobile-friendly criteria. Common mobile usability issues include:
- Text Too Small to Read
This warning indicates that the text on your page is too small for mobile users to read without zooming. Consider increasing the font size or implementing responsive design techniques to ensure a better user experience.
- Touch Elements Too Close
This warning suggests that clickable elements, such as buttons or links, are positioned too closely together, making it difficult for users to tap accurately. Adjust the spacing between touch elements to improve the usability on mobile devices.
Google Search Console provides valuable insights into the health and performance of your website in Google's search results. You can address issues that may impact your site's visibility by paying attention to errors and warnings. Regularly monitoring and resolving these issues will contribute to a better user experience and improved search engine rankings. Stay proactive and use the information provided by Search Console to optimise your website effectively.
If you encounter specific errors or warnings in Google Search Console that require more in-depth troubleshooting, consult Google's official documentation.