Google Search Console (GSC) is a free tool that helps you monitor your website’s performance to identify and fix any potential problems that prevent it from appearing in Google’s search results as expected. We’ve put together a list of some of the most common Google Search Console error reports, as well as how to determine what might be causing the error, and, in most cases, how to fix it.

Submitted URL Errors: Pages With Errors Have Not Been Indexed

There are at least three different reasons why Google might not be indexing specific pages on your site. Why does it matter? A page that is not or cannot be indexed will not appear in the organic search results, meaning you are getting zero SEO value from it.

1. Pages Are Blocked by robots.txt

2. Page Is Marked “No Index”

3. Page Has a Crawl Issue

Google Search Console Errors: How to Find and Fix Them on Your Site

404 Errors

A “404 error” means that Googlebot cannot find a page. Typically, it either no longer exists in a place that is accessible to the bot or the page is now blank. 404 errors are not uncommon, since websites grow and change, and they are not always a problem. Here are a couple of distinctions on when this error will occur and what you need to do (if anything) to fix it.

1. Submitted URL Seems to Be a Soft 404

2. Submitted URL Not Found (404)

Server Error (5XX)

If Google Search Console reports a server error, it means that Googlebot couldn’t access your URL, the request timed out, or your site was busy. As a result, Googlebot was forced to abandon the request. There are a variety of possible causes for this type of error, and you may need to address this issue with your development team or server host in some cases.

Google Search Console Errors: How to Find and Fix Them on Your Site

Redirect Error

When you move (or remove) a page on your site, it’s best to set up a 301 redirect to tell the web browser that the page has moved and to direct it to the new page. If pages move multiple times or get sent back to the original location, however, errors can occur.

New Product Issues Detected for Site

The following warnings and Google Search Console errors are directly related to product-specific Structured Data Markup (SDM). Use the Structured Data Testing Tool to determine which elements are missing or are set up incorrectly and use and Google Search Console’s guide to understanding how structured data works for more information on how to fix these missing or incorrectly specified elements.

1. Either “Offers”, “Review”, or “aggregateRating” Should Be Specified

2. Missing Field “Price”

3. Rating Is Missing Required Best and/or Worst Values

4. Value in Property “ratingCount” Must Be Positive

Mobile Usability Errors

With the rapid increase in internet usage on mobile phones, making sure that you have a website that is fast and easy to use on the majority of mobile devices is important. Mobile usability errors alert you to problems that make pages on your site difficult for some users to navigate.

Google Search Console Errors: Finding And Fixing Them

1. Clickable Elements Too Close Together

2. Viewport Not Set

3. Content Wider Than Screen

4. Text Too Small to Read

Excluded From Indexing Errors

Sometimes, in the Coverage report, you may see hundreds or even thousands of pages that have been excluded from Google’s index. Not all of these should be considered errors or issues (i.e. “alternate page with proper canonical tag”), but some could be cause for concern. Let’s take a look at the top 5 exclusions we typically see:

1. Crawled – Currently Not Indexed

2. Crawl Anomaly

3. Duplicate without User-Selected Canonical

4. Duplicate, Submitted URL Not Selected As Canonical

5. Discovered – Currently Not Indexed

While these are just the top 5 we often see, there are actually 15 types of exclusions you may find in your Google Search Console dashboard. Check out the Search Console Help page for more information about each type of exclusion.

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Google Search Console Resources and Next Steps

The Google Search Console Help Center and the Webmaster FAQ are great resources if you have any questions about organic search.

Want more information on Google search optimization? Download our 2019 Ecommerce Paid Search Report for industry insights from Google.