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Last updated: Sep 05, 2022
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In developing a website, you must ensure that all pages have been successfully crawled by Google or other search engines' bot. This is the first process that makes your website appear on the SERP.
Usually, crawl errors occur when you add a new page. Therefore, you must know how to fix crawl errors effectively so as not to hinder the crawling and indexing process by search engines. In this guide, we will explain in depth how to fix crawl errors to support SEO implementation on your website.
What is Crawl Error?
Before knowing how to solve crawl errors, it's a good idea to know what crawl error is first. Problems in crawling occur when search engines can't open every page on your website.
In the process of crawling, search engine bots find a link on your website and begin to visit every existing page. The bot will crawl the page and index all content that will be displayed in the SERP.
Crawl errors occur if search engines cannot access web pages during the crawling process. If this happens, the search engines cannot read and index the content so the opportunity to place the page in the top position of the SERP becomes smaller.
To find out issues in the crawling process, you need to check it on Google Search Console. With GSC, you can view reports on statistics on website crawl sources, the number of impressions and clicks, and the average position of the page in the search process on search engines.
In the report displayed by the GSC, you can find a record of issues in the crawling process. There is usually a brief explanation for the webmaster, including the reason why the problem occurs and how to fix the crawl error itself.
Besides GSC, you can also check for issues with other methods. Because the information in the Google search consoles themselves is usually delayed. Reports generally contain information about errors that were usually resolved a few weeks ago.
Types of Crawl Errors and How to Fix Them
Once you know what a crawl error is, you need to know how to fix it. But before that, there are two types of issues that are important for webmasters to know. Meanwhile, Google divides the errors process into two, namely site errors and URL errors.
The crawling process can be hampered if a site error occurs. The issue on the website as a whole is in the high-level category. You can see notifications of this issue on the Crawl Errors dashboard for the last 90 days.
Given the impact of site errors on the website as a whole, action is needed to quickly remove the errors rooted in these issues. If the website is free from issues, the error status in GSC will be updated automatically.
In order to avoid related problems and fix the errors appropriately, you can check your website at least every 90 days. Be sure to keep an eye on the previous issues to anticipate possible errors in the future.
But at least, regular checks also need to be done so that even small issues can be resolved quickly. To observe site errors, you need to pay attention to the following factors:
If a DNS error occurs, the website server cannot communicate with the search engine. This may happen if the server is down. The impact is that the website cannot be visited or accessed.
This DNS problem is usually only temporary. Google will crawl back automatically later. However, if the issue is not resolved, a notification will remain in Google Search Console.
The effective ways to fix the issues with DNS can be done using the following methods:
- Use URL Inspection tools to check DNS connection status
- Check server directly with DNS service provider
- Pay attention to the error code on the server
Besides the DNS errors, crawl errors also might happen on the server. This means that bots cannot access your website. Requests to log in or load may take too long to get an error notification.
Server errors usually occur when there is an error in the code that prevents the loading of a page from happening. It is possible that too many visitors are accessing the website at the same time that the server cannot handle their requests. Usually, errors like this are in the form of 5xx codes, such as 500 and 503.
The way to solve crawl errors in this case is to use the Google URL Inspection tools to check if bots can crawl the website. If no problems are found, then generally Google can access your site without interruption.
Prior to the crawling process, Google bots generally try to crawl the robots.txt file on your website. This is done to check if there are areas on the website that you don't want Google to index.
If you want all website content indexed by Google, then the robots.txt file is not needed. The server will return with a 404 code when the Google bot requests access to the robots.txt file.
To remove the error in this case, you need to perform the steps below:
- Ensure that the robots.txt file is properly configured
- Double check the robots.txt files
- It's a good idea not to use the robots.txt file at all
In addition to site errors, you also need to pay attention to problems with website URLs. In this case, some pages cannot appear on Google search page. To see the root of the problem, you can check and view reports in Google Search Console in the URL Errors section.
If the site error affects the website as a whole, then issues related to URLs in the crawling process can prevent Google bots from accessing web pages. In most cases, the problem is caused by an incorrect redirect chain or an unupdated .xml sitemap. You can use the Redirect Checker from cmlabs to check for the issue.
There are several types of error URLs that you need to know:
A Soft 404 Code will appear when a page that has been deleted does not generate an HTTP 404 response. Also, pages that should not be on the website redirect users to irrelevant pages. The error code will also appear if the page being accessed is empty or does not display content.
Perform the following steps to solve soft 404 error:
- Remove broken links and blank pages
- Configure the redirect correctly
- Configuring 404 responses for unavailable pages
Crawl errors can occur when bots crawl pages that are not available. The 404 error code appears if the page is still in the website's .xml sitemap. There are two kinds of 404 errors, namely internal and external. Therefore, fix these issues depends on the type of the problematic link itself.
If the problematic link is on the website side, then the webmaster can remove it. However, if the link is off-site, then it takes the help of an SEO expert or content manager to configure a 301 redirect in the .htaccess file to move the load of the link to another relevant page.
Bots can not access the URL of the website page is one of the causes of crawl errors. This can happen due to several factors, including the prohibition of crawling all resources as well as individual directories and directives used in the robots.txt file. In addition, problems can occur if the hoster blocks bot access to the website.
Here are how to fix it:
- Allow unauthorized page access
- Properly make robots.txt file visible to bots
- Checking through Google's crawler
- Observing the website crawling process from a search engine perspective.
Thus the discussion about how to fix all kinds of crawl errors on the website. If there is a problem with the crawling process, immediately find out what caused the problem to occur. You can use Google Search Console (GSC) to observe the condition of your site and what issues need to be resolved to avoid prolonged errors.
If the best practices we recommend seem overwhelming, you can take advantage of professional SEO services and consult on the problems you are facing.
Note: We have attached some of the most common questions asked by users below, along with their answers. To use the cmlabs Keyword Ranking Tracker application, you don't need to request for a quote from marketing. Please click login to the application.
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