The new Google Search Console is doing a great job of many new things including expanding keyword data and informing users of any index errors on their websites. While that is very helpful, it seems that as with any new system a few bugs might still be in the system. More specifically, we are seeing a handful of random URLs get flagged with “New Index Coverage issues detected” alerts when these pages should be just fine.
While it’s nice to have Google watching our back, false positives can be just as bad and time-consuming when it comes to client education. While we can’t explain Google’s lust for over-applying whatever rules it has in place that signify errors. This has led to more customer service issues and we thought it would be a good idea to clear the air with some definitive examples showing folks it’s not you — it’s Google.
The Initial Email Alert:
Google Search Console Details:
You can go to Search Console to check out the problem under the “Submitted URL marked ‘noindex.’ In our experience, there has been a sampling of 7-14 random URLs that get caught up. Fortunately, Google Search Console lists each URL issue for you and so you can investigate each URL marked as “no index” and see if there is an error.
Search Console False Positives:
After unpacking the reporting and diving into the /robots.txt, meta robot tags + use Google own robots.txt tester tool I started to feel like I was in Office Space. Reading the code and looking at the reporting was my “PC load letter” moment today.
Google Search Console is not perfect. It usually is, but there seems to be a recent rash of falsely telling people that there is an index coverage issue detected when there is no issue.
So, how can you get Google to correct the problem?
To fix the issue, all you have to do is mark the problem as fixed in the Search Console by hitting the “Validate Fix” button and waiting a few days.
However simple the fix is, it doesn’t make the error in Search Console’s system any less frustrating. Below is a sample email from Google saying the index coverage issues was “successfully fixed.” I can tell you we made no changes so this just a bug in the Search Console system.
If you have any additional questions about how this erroneous error message from Search Console or comments we would love to see them below.