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July 29, 2019

Google Search Console Emails & Error Codes

Author: Valerie Baker

You’ve ever gotten a mysterious email from “Google Search Console” that looks something like this

You’re probably wondering, what is this email? How do I fix these errors? Does this impact my ranking in Google? Those are loaded questions, but we can answer them for you. To get started, let me give you a brief introduction to the Google Search Console.

Google Search Console

The Google Search console is a hub for you to submit your site to Google, review any errors Google may find on your site, & see which pages on your site Google ranks highly. There are a ton of useful reports in the search console that we will cover later. When you first log into the search console you’ll see an overview – this shows your web clicks for the past 3 months. Also on this page is a graph showing your total number of valid pages & the number of pages with errors.

Diagnosing Errors from the Emails

When you get an email from the search console –  don’t fret! It’s usually a simple fix, or on occasion, you just need to submit it for validation. I’ll walk you through the three most common errors & tips on how to fix them.

Each email includes a direct link to the search console report where you’ll find more information about the error.

1. Error: Site returned soft 4xx or 5xx (Easy)

These are normally the easiest errors to fix! When you’re brought to the report, quickly review the pages Google is reporting the errors on to see if they’re old pages that you’ve deleted or no longer exist to the public. Once you review, you can submit for validation & you should expect to receive a “validation complete” email within the next week or so.

2. Event Error: Missing field(s) (Moderate)

Event errors are the most important from an SEO perspective. These errors usually have to do with the actual schema markup of the event itself. If one of these errors come through, make sure that whatever events plugin you’re using properly sets up the schema for you as you add in information. Here at Atilus, we use The Events Calendar plugin & it automatically creates the schema for us.

3. Error: Clickable items are too close together (Advanced)

This error normally appears under the mobile report. This particular error is referring to items on the mobile or the AMP version of the site. Sometimes doing a quick validation resolves the error, but most of the time there are CSS or HTML fixes that need to be implemented before the error is cleared.

These are just a few of the different types of error emails you can receive from the search console. If you ever get one of these emails & you’re not sure what to do or how to resolve the issue, don’t hesitate to contact Atilus!

Valerie Baker

Valerie is the Senior Account Manager & Project Manager here at Atilus.

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