Google Search Console – Explaining “Pages Aren’t Indexed” Errors

If you’re using WordPress, you may see hundreds or thousands of pages that are not being indexed on Google from your Google Search Console reporting. While it’s worth investigating which pages are not being indexed, many of them are not a concern. Here’s why:

Alternate page with proper canonical tag

This page correctly points to the canonical page, which is indexed, so there is nothing you need to do. Alternate language pages are not detected by Search Console.

Documentation

This might be the highest number of reported pages that are not indexed. Even a small blog may result in hundreds of these pages. An example of what you might see here is:

https://reggiodigital.com/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=mycampaign&utm_content=article

In the example above, it’s likely that someone linked the homepage with the included UTM tags. Since the utm_source says Twitter, we can assume that Google has found a link within Twitter that goes to that URL. The canonical tag for the page it’s referencing correctly points to “https://reggiodigital.com”. We can’t control where people link to so it’s possible that anything can be added to a URL when it’s linked to it.

Excluded by ‘noindex’ tag

When Google tried to index the page it encountered a ‘noindex’ directive and therefore did not index it.

Documentation

WordPress has a ton more pages than the ones you created via Pages and Posts. Here’s a page that doesn’t exist on this site but can be visited if you entered it https://reggiodigital.com/search/thisisarandomstring/ . It’ll show as no results being found, but nonetheless a page is still rendered. We definitely don’t want this page indexed by Google, nor any search result page. Other examples of this are paginations like /page/3/.

As a result of this, you may find many being excluded by Google and that’s good!

Crawled – currently not indexed

WordPress creates post-specific comment feeds for all posts. https://reggiodigital.com/google-search-console-explaining-pages-arent-indexed-errors/feed/ for example is a link you can visit and is intentional that these are created. They can be safely ignored on Google Search Console as it’s intental that we wouldn’t want these to be indexed.

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