Identify and Fix Crawl Errors Hurting Indexation

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June 6, 2024

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Identify and Fix Crawl Errors Hurting Indexation

Identify and Fix Crawl Errors Hurting Indexation

Hey there, fellow SEO enthusiasts! Today, we’re diving into a topic that’s crucial for the health and visibility of your website: identifying and fixing those pesky crawl errors that could be hurting your indexation. If you’ve ever felt like your site is being held back by invisible gremlins, you’re not alone. But fear not, because I’m here to shed some light on the problem and show you how to tackle it head-on.

Let’s start with the basics. Crawl errors are those little hiccups that occur when the search engines, like our good friend Google, try to access a page on your site and something goes wrong. It could be a 404 error, a 500 error, or any other number of things that can trip up the bots. And you know what they say, “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” Well, when it comes to your website, those crawl errors can be the weak links that drag down your entire SEO strategy.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But I already marked those 404 errors as ‘resolved’ in my Google Search Console, so I’m good, right?” Wrong, my friend. As the wise folks on the Stack Exchange network pointed out, marking those errors as resolved is actually just prolonging the problem. Google is going to keep coming back and trying to access those pages, over and over again, until it finally gives up and moves on.

Instead, the best thing to do is to let those 404 errors be. Let them sit there, unapologetic and unresolved, and eventually, Google will get the hint and stop trying to index them. It might take a little while, maybe 30-60 days, depending on how often Google visits your site, but it’s better than constantly trying to play whack-a-mole with those errors.

But what about those pesky pages that are still showing up in the search results, even though you’ve deleted them? Well, as the community at Squarespace forum pointed out, the solution might be as simple as updating your robots.txt file. By listing those troublesome pages in your robots.txt, you can essentially tell the search engines, “Hey, these pages are off-limits, so don’t even think about trying to index them!”

And if you’re really feeling ambitious, you could even consider implementing a 410 “Gone” status instead of a 404. As the folks at the Google Webmaster Support thread noted, this sends an even stronger signal to the search engines that the page is gone for good and shouldn’t be indexed anymore. It’s like a diplomatic “Don’t come back, we’re closed for business” kind of message.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But what if I want to remove those pages for good and start fresh?” Well, my friend, as the Stack Exchange community pointed out, that’s not really an option. Once Google has indexed your pages, it’s like they’ve etched them into stone. They’ll keep coming back and checking on them, even years down the line. But hey, at least you can rest easy knowing that those 404 errors will eventually do the job of keeping them out of the search results.

So, there you have it, folks. The keys to identifying and fixing those crawl errors that could be hurting your indexation. It’s all about letting those 404 errors be, updating your robots.txt file, and maybe even considering a 410 “Gone” status if you’re feeling fancy. And don’t forget, as the wise folks on the Google Webmaster Support thread said, a few 404 errors here and there can actually be a good thing, because it shows the search engines that your site is configured correctly.

Now, go forth, my SEO-savvy friends, and conquer those crawl errors with the power of knowledge and a little bit of patience. Your website’s visibility and your future SEO success depend on it. Oh, and don’t forget to check out MCR SEO, the awesome SEO agency in Manchester, UK that inspired this whole adventure. Happy crawling!

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