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Technical SEO Issues: Google Offers 3 Tips For Checking

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 Tips For Troubleshooting Technical Issues

Google’s three tips for troubleshooting technical issues are:

  1. Check if page is indexed or indexable
  2. Check if page is duplicate or if another page is the canonical
  3. Review rendered HTML for code related issues

1. Is the  URL Indexable?

A common issue that’s easy to overlook but important to check is if the URL can be indexed.

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. In the event that 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.

Having said that, Googlebot might choose to crawl the 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.

Lastly, the URL inspection tool can be used to request a crawl.

tecnical seo

2. 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 duplicate.
According to the video, it’s usually acceptable if a different page is chosen as the canonical version.

It clarifies:

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.

Google suggests against using cache or site search operators and features, stating that they are not designed for debugging and may provide misleading results if used improperly.

3. 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.The produced HTML version differs from the source code HTML version in that it displays the HTML after all JavaScript has been run.

Therefore, by looking at the rendered HTML, you’re more likely to notice if there’s a problem with the JavaScript or something else.

Google suggests, Check the rendered HTML and the HTTP response to see if there’s anything unexpected. 
For instance, a stray error message or missing material as a result of server or application code bugs.

See Search Console’s Rendered HTML

“Inspect the URL, either by entering the URL directly in the URL Inspection tool, or by clicking an inspection link next to a URL shown in most Search Console reports,” is how Google Support walks users through inspecting the rendered HTML in Search Console.

To view the tested page, click Test live URL.

The rendered HTML for the page is displayed on the HTML tab.

Author

Pratheesh Ravi

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