Google Webmaster Tools Gives More Precise Index Status Data

Google Webmaster Tools has announced a new “Index Status” feature now tracks a website’s indexed URLs for each protocol (HTTP and HTTPS), as well as for verified subdirectories.

“This makes it easy for you to monitor different sections of your site,” Google's announcement said. “For example, the following URLs each show their own data in Webmaster Tools Index Status report, provided they are verified separately:”

gwt-index-data

The announcement highlighted the change in the reports if you have a website on HTTPS, or if some content is indexed under different subdomains. The reports will have an annotation, and look something like this:

webmaster-tools-index-status-screenshot-http

index-status-screenshot-https

"An 'Update' annotation has been added to the Index Status graph for March 9th, showing when we started collecting this data," GWT explained in its blog post. "This change does not affect the way we index your URLs, nor does it have an impact on the overall number of URLs indexed on your domain. It is a change that only affects the reporting of data in Webmaster Tools user interface."

Next steps, said the announcement:

  • Verify all existing variations of your site in GWT. It’s recommended that preferred domains and canonical URLs are configured accordingly. 
  • If you submit a Sitemap, do so for the preferred variation of your website, using the corresponding URLs, said GWT. "Robots.txt files are also read separately for each protocol and hostname."

About the author

Jessica Lee is a marketer specializing in web content strategy and B2B/B2C writing. Since 2005, Jessica has been in the business of content and communications, with the past several years focused on the web marketing space.

Prior to launching her consulting business, bizbuzzcontent, Jessica was responsible for content strategy, development and marketing for Bruce Clay Inc. – a global SEO firm, where she served small businesses and Fortune 500 clients. Jessica's background also includes positions in traditional marketing, communications, broadcasting and publishing.

Jessica has a bachelor's in communications and public relations from San Diego State University. She also contributed to the book “Search Engine Optimization All-in-One For Dummies” 2nd edition.