Updated issue categorization in Search Console

Warnings have (largely) gone away

Quick summary

Search Console has changed the way that items or URLs are labeled in many reports. In the affected reports, URLs or items are no longer grouped at the top level by three or more status categories (for example: Valid, Warning, and Error), but are instead grouped into two broad statuses reflecting whether they are invalid or not (where invalid means that there is a report-specific critical issue in the page or item, and not invalid means that the item might still contain warnings, but has no critical issues). The implications and exact terms for the valid and invalid states varies by report type.

Overview

Users have told us that they are confused by the "warning" status when applied to a URL or item: does a warning mean that the page or item can or can't appear on Google?

In response, we now group the top-level item (a rich result for the rich result reports, a page or URL for the other reports) into two groups: pages or items with critical issues are labeled something like invalid; pages or items without critical issues are labeled something like valid. We think this new grouping makes it easier to see quickly which issues affect your site's appearance on Google, in order to help you prioritize your fixes.

Individual issues are still classified as error, warning, or good, though those concepts are now typically implied through use of color and icon rather than a text label.

The following reports have been changed:

Alert messages

Note that any terminology changes will not be used in any automated alert messages that we send during the experiment. These messages will continue to use the older terminology (error/warning/valid).

Also note that you may see an increase in alerts due to issue reclassification in the coverage report (see details here).

Report details

Coverage (Page indexing)

Several excluded issues ("Submitted, but...") are now being combined with their equivalent error categories. As a result, you may get notifications about a rise in indexing errors. See the last bullet below for details.

Issue statuses

  • Pages with Excluded and Error issues are now grouped into the status Not indexed.
  • Pages with Valid and Valid with warning issues are now grouped into the status Indexed.
  • Any Excluded issues that have a corresponding "Submitted but ..." Error version will be combined into one issue with an error status. (For example, the "Submitted URL not found (404)" error and "Not found (404)" excluded issue are combined in the Not indexed status). If you want to filter the report to show only submitted or unsubmitted URLs, you can use the filter dropdown on the main page, and choose either All submitted pages or Unsubmitted pages only.

Chart

The Valid and Valid with warning pages are grouped into the Indexed status in the chart. The Error and Excluded issues have been grouped into the Not indexed status in the chart.

Tables

The first table below the chart shows issues that prevent your URLs from being indexed by Google. Some of these might be intentional (for example, blocking by robots.txt).

The second table below the chart shows non-critical issues that affect your URLs.

There is a new column in the tables: Source. This value indicates whether the condition listed in the Reason column is caused by the website or by Google. If the reason is a website action, you should fix the issue if it makes sense to do so.

To see a table of good pages, click View data about indexed pages below the summary chart.

Filtering by submitted URLs

By default, the report shows all URLs known by Google. You can filter the report to show only URLs contained in a sitemap that is known by Google, or only URLs that were not in a sitemap known by Google. Choose a filter using the dropdown near the top of the report.

Core Web Vitals

Core Web Vitals did not change the page classification from Poor, Need improvement, and Good, but it now groups pages into two tables: one table for Poor or Need improvement pages, and one table for Good pages.

The table below the chart lists all issues with status Poor or Need improvement.

To see a table of Good pages, click View data about usable pages below the summary chart.

Mobile Usability

Mobile usability never had any warning-level issues, so you won't see any changes in the chart except that the categories are now Not usable and Usable

The table below the chart lists all pages with issues that prevent them from being considered usable on mobile devices.

To see a table of usable pages, click View data about usable pages below the summary chart.

AMP report

The first table below the chart shows AMP pages that are affected by critical issues that may prevent them from appearing on Google.

The second table below the chart shows non-critical issues that affect your AMP pages.

Individual AMP pages can be affected by multiple issues in either, or both, tables.

To see a table of good pages, click View data about valid AMP pages below the summary chart.

Rich result reports

The first table below the chart shows rich results that are affected by critical issues that prevent them from appearing on Google.

The second table below the chart shows rich results with non-critical issues that, if fixed, could improve the appearance of the rich result.

Individual items can be affected by multiple issues in either, or both, tables.

To see a table of valid items, click View data about valid items below the summary chart.

URL Inspection

In the URL Inspection report, the top level verdict for a URL will be one of the following three categories (exact wording will vary):

URL is on Google - The URL has no critical errors for any tested component that will prevent the URL from being on Google. The URL might have non-critical errors for categories such as warnings in structured data on the page (but not critical errors).

URL is on Google, but has issues - The URL has a critical error that will affect an aspect of the page on Google, but the page can still appear on Google. For example a critical error in a structured data item that might prevent that structured data from appearing on Google, but the page itself can appear on Google, or an error in mobile usability that doesn't prevent the page from appearing on Google.

URL is not on Google - The URL has a critical error that prevents the URL itself from being indexed. For example, Not available (404) or blocked by a noindex tag.

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