Three diagnostic techniques are provided by Google for technical SEO issues that impact indexing and ranking.
In a video that it released, Google provided three ideas for utilizing Search Console to find technical faults that could be causing problems with indexing or ranking.
Three Pointers For Resolving Technical Problems
Google offers these three suggestions for resolving technical problems:
- Verify whether the page can be indexed or not.
- Verify whether a page is duplicated or whether another is the canonical version. 3. Examine the produced HTML for any errors relating to coding.
- Can a URL be indexed?
Checking to see if the URL can be indexed is a common mistake that is crucial to avoid.
For debugging whether or not Google has indexed a page, the URL inspection tool in the Google search interface is quite helpful. You may find out via the tool whether a page is indexable and if it is indexed. If it cannot be indexed, it will provide an explanation for why Google might be experiencing difficulties with it.
The last crawl date, which gives an indication of Google’s level of interest in the page, is another piece of information provided by the URL.
That being said, Googlebot may choose to crawl a page less frequently if it doesn’t change frequently. This is not significant. It just makes sense in terms of Google’s and the target web server’s resource conservation.
Finally, a crawl request can be made using the URL inspection tool.
- Verify If It Was Ignored Since It Was a Duplicate and Another Page Was Indexed
Google then suggests determining whether a page is canonical or duplicated.
According to the video, it’s usually acceptable if a different page is chosen as the canonical version.
After crawling, the next step is to see if it has been marked as a duplicate and, in most cases, is acceptable because the canonical URL is on a different one.
This is normally acceptable even if it may not be the canonical URL you were expecting because the content is indexed and will appear in search results.
Bonus Tip: Google advised against doing any kind of diagnostic work with the cache or site: search operator. A page may be indexed, for instance, yet not appear in a site: search.
Like all other site operators, the site search operator is totally cut off from the search index. Even in the days when there was a site search operator for backlinks, this has always been the situation.
“Avoid using cache or site search operators and features as they are not designed for debugging and may provide misleading results if used improperly.”
- Examine Rendered HTML for Inconsistencies
Finally, here’s a fairly nice tip. Google cautions against confusing source code inspection of HTML with rendered HTML inspection.
Rendered refers to the HTML created so that the webpage can be rendered by the browser or Googlebot.
Examining the rendered HTML will show you what the browser and Googlebot are actually seeing at the code level, which is helpful if you’re attempting to determine whether there’s a problem with the HTML.
“…look for anything unexpected in the rendered HTML and the HTTP response.
For instance, a stray error message or missing material as a result of server or application code bugs.
See Search Console’s Rendered HTML
A step-by-step guide for examining the displayed HTML in the search console may be found on Google Support:
Examine the URL by typing it into the URL Inspection tool directly or by using the inspection link that appears next to the URL in the majority of Search Console results.
To view the tested page, click Test live URL.
The rendered HTML for the page is displayed on the HTML tab.
Use Chrome DevTools to View Rendered HTML.
You may view the rendered HTML using Chrome DevTools, which is a feature of the Chrome browser.
Using the vertical ellipsis (three dots) drop-down menu, open the Chrome Dev Tools and then:
Additional tools > Tools for developers
The Command Menu can then be accessed by pressing Command+Shift+P on Mac OS or Control+Shift+P on Windows, Linux, or ChromeOS.
Type: Rendering; choose “Show Rendering” from the menu.
The rendered HTML is then displayed by Chrome DevTools in the bottom window, where it can be clicked to enlarge, as seen in the screenshot below.
Three Tricks For Troubleshooting Technical Problems
Numerous technical problems can impede indexing and ranking, and there are even more methods for locating and resolving such problems.
Thankfully, Google makes it simple to troubleshoot technical problems with its Chrome DevTools and Search Console tools.
Watch the Google Search Central video for three helpful hints on troubleshooting Google Search’s technical issues.