Validation details

Validate your fixes

After you fix all instances of a specific issue on your site, you can ask Google to confirm your fixes. If all known instances are fixed, the issue count goes to zero in the issues table and dropped to the bottom of the table.

Why validate

Telling Google that you have fixed all issues in a specific issue status or category has the following benefits:

  • You'll get an email when Google has confirmed your fix on all URLs, or conversely, if Google has found remaining instances of that issue.
  • You can track Google's progress in confirming your fixes, and see a log of all pages queued for checking, and the fix status of each URL.

It might not always make sense to fix and validate a specific issue on your website: for example, URLs blocked by robots.txt are probably intentionally blocked. Use your judgment when deciding whether to address a given issue.

You can also fix issues without validating; Google updates your instance count whenever it crawls a page with known issues, whether or not you explicitly requested fix validation.

Start validation

To tell Search Console that you fixed an issue:

  1. Fix all instances of the issue on your site. If you missed a fix, validation will stop when Google finds a single remaining instance of that issue.
  2. Open the issue details page of the issue that you fixed. Click the issue in the issues list in your report.
  3. Click Validate fix. Do not click Validate fix again until validation has succeeded or failed. More details about how Google checks your fixes.
  4. You can monitor the validation progress. Validation typically takes up to about two weeks, but in some cases can take much longer, so please be patient. You will receive a notification when validation succeeds or fails.
  5. If validation fails, you can see which URL caused the validation to fail by clicking See details in the issue details page. Fix this page, confirm your fix on all URLs in Pending state, and restart validation.

When is an issue considered "fixed" for a URL or item?

An issue is marked as fixed for a URL or item when either of the following conditions are met:

  • When the URL is crawled and the issue is no longer found on the page. For an AMP tag error, this can mean that you either fixed the tag or that the tag has been removed (if the tag is not required). During a validation attempt, it will be labeled Passed.
  • If the page is not available to Google for any reason (page removed, marked noindex, requires authentication, and so on), the issue will be considered as fixed for that URL. During a validation attempt, it is categorized in the Other validation state.

Issue lifetime

An issue's lifetime extends from the first time any instance of that issue was detected on your site until 90 days after the last instance was marked as gone from your site. If ninety days pass without any recurrences, the issue is removed from the issues table.

An issue's First detected date is the first time the issue was detected during the issue's lifetime, and does not change. Therefore:

  • If all instances of an issue are fixed, but a new instance of the issue occurs 15 days later, the issue is marked as open, and first detected date remains the original date.
  • If the same issue occurs 91 days after the last instance was fixed, the previous issue was closed, and so this is recorded as a new issue, with the first detected date set to the new detection date.
Validation flow

Here is an overview of the validation process after you click Validate Fix for an issue. This process can take several days or even longer, and you will receive progress notifications by email.

  1. When you click Validate Fix, Search Console immediately checks a few pages.
    • If the current instance exists in any of these pages, validation ends, and the validation state remains unchanged.
    • If the sample pages do not have the current error, validation continues with state Started. If validation finds other unrelated issues, these issues are counted against that other issue type and validation continues.
  2. Search Console works through the list of known URLs affected by this issue. Only URLs with known instances of this issue are queued for recrawling, not the whole site. Search Console keeps a record of all URLs checked in the validation history, which can be reached from the issue details page.
  3. When a URL is checked:
    1. If the issue is not found, the instance validation state changes to Passing. If this is the first instance checked after validation has started, the issue validation state changes to Looking good.
    2. If the URL is no longer reachable, the instance validation state changes to Other (which is not an error state).
    3. If the instance is still present, issue state changes to Failed and validation ends. If this is a new page discovered by normal crawling, it is considered another instance of this existing issue.
  4. When queued URLs have been checked for this issue and found to be fixed of this issue, the issue state changes to Passed. However, even when all instances have been fixed, the severity label of the issue doesn't change (Error or Warning), only the number of affected items (0).

Even if you never click Start validation Google can detect fixed instances of an issue. If Google detects that all instances of an issue have been fixed during its regular crawl, it will change the issue count to 0 on the report.

Revalidation

⚠️ Wait for a validation cycle to complete before requesting another cycle, even if you have fixed some issues during the current cycle.

To restart a failed validation:

  1. Navigate into the validation log for the failed validation: Open to the issue details page of the issue that failed validation and click See details.
  2. Click Start new validation.
  3. Validation will restart for all URLs marked Pending or Failed, plus any new instances of this issue discovered through normal crawling since the last validation attempt. URLs marked Passed or Other are not rechecked.
  4. Validation typically takes up to about two weeks, but in some cases can take much longer, so please be patient.

See validation progress

To see the progress of a current validation request, or the history of the last request if a validation is not in progress:

  1. Open the issue details page for the issue. Click the issue row in the main report page to open the issue details page.
    • The validation request status is shown both in the issue details page and also in the Validation row of the Details table.
  2. Click See details to open the validation details page for that request.
    • The instance status for each URL included in the request is shown in the table.
    • The instance status applies to the specific issue that you are examining. You can have one issue labeled Passed on a page, but other issues labeled Failed, Pending, or Other on the same page.
    • In the AMP report and Index Coverage report, entries in the validation history page are grouped by URL.
    • In the Mobile Usability and Rich Result reports, items are grouped by the combination of URL + structured data item (as determined by the item's Name value).
Validation request status

The following validation states apply to validation for a given issue:

  • Not started: One or more instances of this issue have never been in a validation request for this issue.
    Next steps:
    1. Click into the issue to learn the details of the error. Inspect the individual pages to see examples of the error on the live page using the AMP Test. (If the AMP Test does not show the error on the page, it is because you fixed the error on the live page after Google found the error and generated this issue report.)
    2. Click Learn more on the details page to see the details of the problem.
    3. Click an example URL row in the table to get details on that specific error.
    4. Fix your pages and then click Validate fix to start validationValidation typically takes up to about two weeks, but in some cases can take much longer, so please be patient.
  • Started: You have begun a validation attempt and no remaining instances of the issue have been found yet.
    Next step: Google will send notifications as validation proceeds, telling you what to do, if necessary.
  • Looking good: You started a validation attempt, and all issue instances that have been checked so far have been fixed.
    Next step: Nothing to do, but Google will send notifications as validation proceeds, telling you what to do.
  • Passed: All known instances of the issue are gone (or the affected URL is no longer available). You must have clicked Validate fix to get to this state (if instances disappeared without you requesting validation, state would change to N/A).
    Next step: Nothing more to do.
  • N/A: Google found that the issue was fixed on all URLs, even though you never started a validation attempt.
    Next step: Nothing more to do.
  • Failed: A certain threshold of pages still contain this issue, after you clicked Validate.
    Next steps: Fix the issue and restart validation.
Instance validation status

After validation has been requested, every instance of the issue is assigned one of the following validation states:

  • Pending: Queued for validation. The last time Google looked, this issue instance existed.
  • Passed: [Not available in all reports] Google checked for the issue instance and it no longer exists. Can reach this state only if you explicitly clicked Validate for this issue instance.
  • Failed: Google checked for the issue instance and it's still there. Can reach this state only if you explicitly clicked Validate for this issue instance.
  • Other: [Not available in all reports] Google couldn't reach the URL hosting the instance, or (for structured data) couldn't find the item on the page any more. Considered equivalent to Passed.

Note that the same URL can have different states for different issues; For example, if a single page has both issue X and issue Y, issue X can be in validation state Passed and issue Y on the same page can be in validation state Pending.

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