This post provides you with updated information on Google’s Webmaster’s Tools. Webmasters tools are an important component of a solid SEO plan.
When “Googlebot” scrolls a page for information, the way it reports “crawl errors” has changed. To start with, the errors are being broken down into two categories: URL and site errors. Site errors are common errors throughout the whole site. URL errors are more specific to a certain URL (page) of the website.
Site errors are split into three different categories:
- DNS errors which involve DNS lookup timeouts, a domain name not being found and DNS errors.
- Server Connectivity errors pertain to networks not being reachable, having connections refused, no responses and connections resets.
- Robots.txt Fetch errors are for things specific for robot.txt files. So if Google gets a server error when attempting to access the file, they can’t know if a robots.text file is there and what pages they are supposed to block. This results in them not crawling until they don’t get an error message.
URL errors are put into 6 categories:
- Server error
- Soft 404
- Access denied
- Not Found
- Not Followed
Server errors include the common 503 for server maintenance. Soft 404 errors are for URLs that are seen as bringing you back to an error page but didn’t return a 404 response code. These situations can hurt your crawling efficiency as Googlebot can start crawling the pages as opposed to valid pages you wanted indexed. In this case, these pages might end up in search results which would be problematic for the web searcher. Access denied errors relate to URLs that returned a 401 response message. Not Found errors usually mean that these URLs return a 410 or 404 message. Not Followed messages are 301 and 302 codes, a 301 is followed well and shouldn’t be seen as “not followed”. As for the Others category, this is seen as a “catch-all” that pertains to codes similar to 403’s.
These are just some of the new nuances of the Google Webmasters Tools, and as we know, Google is always changing. For any questions about SEO and how we use Webmaster’s Tools for your site, contact Boston Web Marketing.
If you are interested in more SEO techniques or would like to hire us to manage your reputation online contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 857.526.0096.
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