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Search Console Notice - New Coverage issue detected for site

     
2:40 pm on Dec 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Because of the lack of converting traffic Google has sent for years, it's been a very long time since I logged into SC. Quite frankly, Google really is no longer worth much of my time, money, etc. Having said that, I received a notification in the email about a "new coverage issues detected" for our site. The issue Google noted, noindex, was found on our sitemap.html page. Is anyone else getting these emails, especially for known pages that are of little value to users? I'm aware that these notices are part of mobile first indexing, but I'm not going to remove the noindex from the page and there is no way that I see in SC to dismiss/exclude this error.
1:18 am on Dec 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Index Coverage Status report
[support.google.com...]

Use this report to learn which of your pages have been indexed, and how to fix pages that could not be indexed. Each bar in the graph represents the total number of URLs in a particular status (valid, error, and so on) as known by Google.

glakes... I suppose you could disallow Googlebot in your robots.txt for the entire site and be done with it.

I've always considered sitemap.html to be much more valuable for users and for search engines than the xml sitemap, but it depends on the size of the site and the depth of the html sitemap. YMMV.

3:09 am on Dec 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Yah, but do you want users to enter on your sitemap page? That sounds as if you’re just giving up on your own site: “Here, I know you won’t be able to find anything using normal navigation, so let’s proceed directly to the map without even trying to search for content.”
3:16 am on Dec 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I loathe the constant notifications. The notifications are not useful or actionable. They are only bothersome. In the older GSC you can look up what you are interested in looking into, then see what they've decided are errors and dismiss them because they are showing you that your site is dong what you expect it to do. Once you dismiss the errors, you're done.

Sitemaps are different. They are complaining about "errors" in the sitemap. 404 errors to be exact. Instead of dismissing those errors, you look at what they're using. Oh, it was submitted on 08/12/14 and processed this week. Hmm, better remind them to pick up a current sitemap now and then. Then tell it to test the sitemap and voila! Errors be gone. That is in the old GSC. It is lame but at least you can see and correct their "issues".

The "new" version tells you they found an issue, after sending you a notification about the issue, but not telling you what the issue is. There is no dismissing because most of the time you can't guess what they're complaining about nor see anything that you can do about whatever it is. The only thing you can do is click on "Validate". So then they send you another notification - both in the search console and via email to say that they are working on validating whatever it was they notified you about. This is not something that interests me so much as annoys me.

Occasionally they will show "examples" of the "issue". I guess these are supposed to be clues for you to identify what is troubling them. I know that at some point they will automatically redirect me to the new version which is when I will just stop visiting. I've wondered whether any of the developers who worked on this new console have ever built a website, even a small one, and tried to use their console for anything useful.
3:38 pm on Dec 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I deleted all of my sitemaps from GSC years ago. In my experience this works better, at least for small sites that don't change much. You can put noindex tags on pages that you don't want google to index.
12:10 pm on Dec 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I loathe the constant notifications.

And that's the root of the problem - notifications about non-issues or as you noted warnings about sitemap entries and pages that have not existed for years. I personally find no value in these notices. I will see if the unsubscribe works. If not, I'll just close my GSC account as I don't use it anyway.
7:05 am on Dec 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I have new notifications every now and then based on a robots.txt file that was deleted years ago. The latest was 2 days ago.

Indexed, though blocked by robots.txt
6:09 pm on Dec 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Every time I see that “indexed, though blocked by robots.txt” message (meaning any file in a roboted-out directory linked from a robot-accessible file, such as my Contact or Legal page) I long to ask them to show me a bona fide search query that would cause that specific page to come up within, say, the first 100 search results. And "'more information' site:example.com" does not count as a bona fide search query.
 

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