URL Inspection Tool | Step-by-step Guideline for Beginners

The URL Inspection Tool provides information about Google’s indexed version of a specific page. Information includes AMP errors, structured data errors, and indexing issues.

Ranking on the first page of Google is the goal for many businesses, but to get there, you cannot take shortcuts or expect it to happen overnight. Search engine optimization (SEO) takes time, effort and patience to yield results, and success will look different for everyone, depending on variables like budget, skill, and competition.

Google URL Inspection Tool

Businesses can improve their rankings by improving their site performance and their on-page SEO. Google prefers fast-loading pages, so use the speed test tool and follow [that] advice. Make sure that pictures are optimized before you upload them. And do keyword research for your products or services and tweak your pages to answer those queries.

Because SEO is a long game, continuous improvement is key. Make sure to routinely check how well your site is ranking if it is indexed, and where you can improve keywords. It can take anywhere from one to six months (sometimes even longer) to see SEO results. So, be patient and try not to rush the improvements.

You should also make it a priority to have comprehensive, quality content on your site.

What is Google URL Inspection Tool?

As a small business owner, you likely depend on your website to let potential customers know you exist, generate leads and advertise your services. So if your site isn’t showing up high in search results, it can be a major detriment to your business. It is vital to know how Google views your website and how you rank against your competitors.

The URL Inspection Tool provides a “detailed crawl, index, and serving information” about your webpages directly from the Google index. It helps you identify and troubleshoot any problems that may be preventing your website from ranking well.

Google Search Console URL Index Coverage

Both internal and external features can affect your website URL Index Coverage.

Meaning, if a URL is temporarily blocked using the Remove URLs tool, the URL Inspection tool will report the URL as “URL is on Google.” Especially with the URL Index coverage status showing “Crawled”.

Common tasks include:
  • See the current index status of a URL: Retrieve information about Google’s indexed version of your page. See why Google could or couldn’t index your page.
  • Inspect a live URL: Test whether a page on your site is able to be indexed.
  • Request indexing for a URL: You can request that an URL be crawled (or recrawled) by Google.
  • View a rendered version of the page: See a screenshot of how Googlebot sees the page.
  • View loaded resources list, JavaScript output, and other information: See a list of resources, page code, and more information by clicking the more information link on the page verdict card.

See detailed Google Index information about a URL in your property. In order to see the Google Index information for a URL in your property.

How does Google URL Inspection Tool work?

Using a program called Googlebot to crawl the web and index URLs to be searchable, the tool shows things like your last crawl date. As well as, the status of the previous crawl, any errors it encountered, the canonical URL or Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) errors. And whether the page was successfully indexed.

The engine also goes through your website to make sure it meets Google’s guidelines for indexing. While crawling happens automatically over a period of days or weeks, you can manually submit your site to Google to have it indexed.

jmexclusives URL Inspection Tool for Search Console

“When I submit the URLs manually, I usually have my pages showing in search results within 15 to 17 hours, if not sooner.”

To do this, submit your sitemap through the console, prompting the Googlebot to analyze your site for indexing. Search Console helps you optimize your URLs to make sure they’re correctly indexed.

1. Sign in to the Google Search Console:

To use Search Console and the URL inspection tool, sign in with your Google account and verify that you have the authority to access the website. This is typically done by uploading an HTML verification file from Google onto your website, then visiting the resulting URL.

There are a few alternative verification methods, such as adding an HTML meta tag or signing in with your domain registrar. You can test a live URL in your property to see whether it is capable of being indexed by Google. This will run a test against the live page for information similar to the indexed URL.

There is a wealth of information on the Google Search Console. Knowing what your site ranks for and where you can improve is crucial to the organic success of your business.

2. Enter the complete URL to inspect a few notes:

Once you’re verified, you’ll have access to Search Console’s functions, including generating insight reports and checking your backlinks, and the URL inspection tool.

To use the URL inspection tool, you simply paste in the URL you want to examine, and it will run an analysis based on its last crawl. The tool will then inform you if the URL is on Google and can be found through search results.

And in addition, it will also tell you if the mobile version through AMP is valid. But it’s important to realize, there is a daily limit of inspection requests for each property that you own.

You can read and learn how to understand the results. However, as a result of the URL Inspection Tool, Google cautions that;

(a) The URL must be in the current property

URLs outside the current property cannot be tested. If you own that other property, you must switch properties to test the URL.

(b) AMP vs non-AMP URLs

You can inspect both AMP and non-AMP URLs. The tool provides information about the corresponding AMP or non-AMP version of the page.

(c) Alternate page versions

If the page has alternate/duplicate versions, the report also provides information about the canonical version, if the canonical version is in a property that you own.

Basically, the Google URL inspection Tool helps businesses see how they can improve their Google rankings.

Whereby, a high Google ranking makes it easier for potential customers to find your business.

How do you Increase your Web Presence on Google?

To boost your website ranking, you must focus on building quality content. While at the same time, as you continuously work on your site SEO to improve your digital authority.

For example, if an URL is temporarily blocked using the Remove URLs tool, the URL Inspection tool will report the URL as “URL is on Google,” with Index coverage status “Crawled“.

URL Inspection Tool

Although, this does not mean that your URL is appearing in the Search Results. And for your information, to see if your URL is still blocked, visit the Remove URLs tool or search for your URL on Google.

Below is a description of whether or not the URL can appear in Google Search Results. Whereas, the values are only possible if;

1. URL Inspection Tool gets you on Google

What it means;

The URL has been indexed, can appear in Google Search results, and no problems were found with any enhancements found in the page (structured data, linked AMP pages, and so on).

What to do next;

Typically nothing, although you can explore what Google knows about your page by navigating into the details of the index coverage or enhancement sections.

2. Google has issues from your URL Inspection Tool or URLs

What it means;

The URL has been indexed and can appear in Google Search Results, but there are some problems that might prevent it from appearing with the enhancements that you applied to the page.

This might mean a problem with an associated AMP page or malformed structured data for a rich result (such as a recipe or job posting) on the page.

What to do next;

Read the warnings or error information in the report and try to fix the problems described.

3. URL is not on Google or there are Indexing errors

What it means;

There was at least one critical error that prevented the URL from being indexed. And, therefore, it cannot appear in Google Search until those issues are fixed.

What to do next;

Expand the Index coverage section to see details about the indexing attempt. You can see the list of index coverage errors and possible fix steps.

4. URL Inspection Tool results are not on Google

What it means;

This URL won’t appear in Google Search results, but I think that was your intention.

With the most common reasons including a password-protected page or a noindex directive. And also, if this is an alternate version of a canonical page. Meaning that the alternate version pages are not indexed.

What to do next;

To fix this, you can read the details in the index coverage report section to learn more about the reason.

A few possible reasons are included if the;
  • User-declared canonical” and “Google-selected canonical” values are different.

This means that this URL is one of a set of similar pages, and Google has chosen to index another version of the same page. There’s probably no need to do anything here.

Though you might consider removing your explicit canonical tag, or considering why you need another page as canonical.

  • URL Inspection Tool found there is a noindex or robots.txt blockage that you didn’t expect.

Index coverage reasons are unanimously not related to your website URLs or even the URL Inspection Tool.

And with this in mind, read and learn more from the list of values and possible fix instructions.

5. URL is unknown to Google

What it means;

Further, if the index coverage status “URL is unknown to Google” appears. It means that Google hasn’t indexed the URLs.

Either because it hasn’t seen the URL before. Or evenly too, because it has found it as a properly marked alternate page, but it can’t be crawled.

What to do next;

In reality, to fix this, you can run a live inspection. While fixing any issues you might see, and thereafter, submit pages for indexing once more.

If this is a properly marked but uncrawlable alternate page, then if you inspect the canonical page you will see this page listed, with a crawl error.

6. Your URL Inspection Tool found an alt Version

What it means;

This URL is one of a set of alternate versions of the same page.

Pages in this group include AMP/canonical pairs or desktop version/mobile version page pairs. You can see the indexed URL in the Google-selected canonical value under Index coverage.

What to do;

Generally, there is nothing to do, though you might check the Google-selected canonical to make sure it is an expected page.

The Google Top Card gives a general evaluation of whether or not the live URL has the ability to be indexed.

How is Google URL Index Coverage done?

A positive result is not a guarantee that it will appear in the Google Search Results. Eventually, Google Search Console requires that the page and its structured data conform to quality and security guidelines.

However, the URL Inspection Tool doesn’t take into account manual actions, content removals, or temporarily blocked URLs. But, the following values are possible if:

1. URL is available to Google   

What it means;

The URL isn’t blocked and doesn’t have any detectable errors to prevent full indexing. If Google indexes the URL it can appear in Google Search results.

Provided that it conforms to quality and security guidelines, and is not subject to manual actions, content removals, or temporarily blocked URLs.

What to do next;

If the page is different from the indexed version, you can request indexing by selecting the button on the page.

Alternatively, you could submit a sitemap, or wait for it to be crawled naturally.

2. URL is available to Google but has issues

What it means;

The URL can be indexed by Google, but there are some problems that might prevent it from appearing with the enhancements that you tried to implement.

This might mean a problem with an associated AMP page or malformed structured data for a rich result (such as a recipe or job posting) on the page.

What to do next;

You can read the warnings or error information in the report and try to fix the problems described.

3. URL is not available to Google

What it means;

This URL can’t appear in Google Search results due to a critical issue.

What to do next;

By the same token, you can read the details in the availability section to learn more about the reason.

Takeaway,

If you own, manage, monetize, or promote online content via Google Search Console, this guide is meant for you.

And if you might be the owner of a growing and thriving business, there is a collection of help that comes from;

  1. the webmaster of a dozen sites,
  2. the SEO specialist in a Web agency,
  3. or a DIY SEO ninja (like jmexclusives).

Not to mention, some of whom are so adept and passionate about the mechanics of Search.

In reality, our SEO best practices guide is very substantial for every beginner webmaster, but it won’t provide any secrets that’ll automatically rank your site first in Google (sorry!).

But, by following some of the best practices outlined above will hopefully make it easier. Allowing for your URL index coverage fixures, search engines to crawl, index and understand your content too.

Resources;

Finally, I hope the above-revised guide on Google URL Inspection Tool was helpful to both you and webmasters.

But, if you’ll need further guidance of more support, please Contact Us. Or even, leave your questions and insights in the comments section below this blog.

Not forgetting, by utilizing a WordPress SEO Plugin (like the Yoast SEO) can greatly help. At the same time, you should research more on content optimization strategic guides.

Here are more useful and related topic links;

  1. Google-friendly Sites Beginners Guidelines
  2. AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) | Webmaster Guidelines
  3. What does Website Design & Development entail?
  4. Website Backup | Best Methods & Practices For Beginners
  5. SEO Analysis Tools | 10 Best for Every New Webmaster
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