Earlier this week, users of Google Search Console in the US have seen a new function which allows them to Report an Indexing Issue. Now, this is a far cry away from the days when Google Search Console would throw up the errors, sometimes leaving people wondering, what on earth they were and how to fix them – so maybe, just maybe, this might be Google leaning more into brand websites to help out – showing that the “almighty G” might not know all the answers about your site.
The new “Report an Indexing Issue” apparently feeds right into Google Search Team – and its been reported that Google is only rolling this out in the US at the moment as a means of a test, to a select few sites/search console owner, with a view to rolling it out completely within a week to the US – but if its successful, lets hope we see it rolled out globally, as its a feature that would be really welcomed to who look after SEO for client/inhouse websites.
The new feature is designed for people who need extra support beyond using Google community forums and Google supporting documentation. If you are based in the US, you can access the Report an Indexing Issue button at the footer of the URL inspection help document.
When you click on it, a form pops up which asks for information from the site owner about the issue they have when trying to fix indexing issues. You will need a verified Google Search Console account to report issues, so if you haven’t got that in place, then talk to your SEO Agency or inhouse SEO to add the site to Google Search Console and get it verified (its really simple to do and takes no time at all to do).
Below is a screenshot of the form you’ll have to fill out:
The form takes you through questions step-by-step in order to help you debug the indexing issue on your end before submitting the issue directly to Google. As mentioned at the top of the this article, there are a number of times we have setup Google Search Console for our clients, or been given access and Google reports a number of issues about the site that may need fixing or amending, but when you dig a little deeper you find that its not your site that has the issue, but more around Google Search actually indexing, rendering, understanding the pages and site more. Search Engine Land published a great article on this in October 2020.
It does seem that finally, site owners and SEOs might be able to work more closely with Google to be able to raise these indexing issue with Google Search, hey, who knows… it might just be the start of the “mighty G” opening up to more conversations – rather than it being all one way for SEOs and site owners, like it has been for the last 13 years!
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