Google Webmaster Tools Updates Crawl Error Reports

Google errorGoogle announced it is implementing new crawl error reports in Webmaster Tools to help webmasters understand crawl errors that are being displayed for redirected URLs.

There has been much confusion from webmasters over what exactly the crawl errors meant for redirected URLs and the way they were being displayed within Webmaster Tools. The confusion came about because when a webmaster was redirected from Site A to Site B, if there was a problem on Site B’s site in regards to the redirect, it would display a crawl error that it was from Site A, when what it really meant was that there was an error redirecting from Site A to Site B.

Because redirect crawl errors were not very concise, webmasters were struggling to determine what the true error was, and where within the redirect it was occurring, especially for those webmasters who aren't very technical. Was it a problem with redirect itself? Was it a problem with the end redirect page? Both?

This change will make a lot easier for webmasters to track down crawl errors, why they are happening, and how to fix them without having to do a lot of back and forth checking with tools to determine what exactly was going on.

Google also stresses that having crawl errors, such as a 404, that are not a true error because the page design exists, it will not negatively impact the rest of the site’s rankings in the Google search results. In fact, John Mueller from Google said, "Finding 404's is normal and expected of a healthy, well-configured website."

About the author

Jennifer Slegg began as a freelance writer, and turned to search engine optimization and writing content for the web in 1998. She has created numerous content-rich sites in niche markets and works with many clients on content creation, strategy, and monetization. She writes about many search industry and social media topics on her blog, and is a frequent speaker at search industry conferences on SEO, content marketing and content monetization. Acknowledged as the leading expert on the Google AdSense contextual advertising program, she runs JenSense, a blog dealing exclusively with contextual advertising. She is also the founder and editor of The SEM Post. She is known by many as her handle Jenstar on various webmaster forums.