Validation details

About validation

After you fix all instances of a specific issue on your site, you can ask Google to validate your changes. If all known instances are gone, the issue is marked as fixed in the status table and dropped to the bottom of the table. Search Console tracks the validation state of the issue as a whole, as well as the state of each instance of the issue. When all instances of the issue are gone, the issue is considered fixed. (For actual states recorded, see Issue validation state and Instance validation state.)

More about 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 report history.

The 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 "today".

Basic validation flow

Here is an overview of the validation process after you click Validate Fix for an issue. This process can take several days, 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 all error and warning URLs have been checked and the issue count is 0, the issue state changes to Passed. Important: Even when the number of affected pages drops to 0 and issue state changes to Passed, the original severity label will still be shown (Error or Warning).

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 state to "N/A" on the report.

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 considered as "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 counted in the "other" validation state.

Revalidation

When you click Revalidate for a failed validation, validation restarts for all failed instances, plus any new instances of this issue discovered through normal crawling.

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

Instances that have passed validation (marked Passed) or are no longer reachable (marked Other) are not checked again, and are removed from the history when you click Revalidate.

Validation history

You can see the progress of a validation request by clicking the validation details link in the issue details page.

Entries in the validation history page are grouped by URL for the AMP report and Index Status report. 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). The validation state 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".

Issue validation state

The following validation states apply to a given issue:

  • Not started: There are one or more pages with an instance of this issue that you have never begun a validation attempt for. 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 rule that was violated.
    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 have Google recrawl your pages. Google will notify you about the progress of the validation. Validation takes anywhere from a few days up to about two weeks, 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 revalidate.

Instance validation state

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

  • Pending validation: Queued for validation. The last time Google looked, this issue instance existed.
  • Passed: [Not available in Index Coverage report] 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 Index Coverage report] 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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