Google Search Console’s URL Inspection Tool Is Down
Editor’s Note: This problem has been fixed.
As of October 14, 2020, the “request indexing” feature within Google Search Console’s URL inspection tool is down, and they expect the outage to last at least a few weeks while technical updates are made. This function is a valuable part of any SEO’s toolkit, allowing us to inform Google immediately when new content is added or a page has been optimized.
So what’s an SEO to do?
Consider These URL Inspection Tool Alternatives
Be Patient and Wait for Google
You don’t have to requesting indexing to have your page appear in search results or be discovered by Google. It simply speeds up the process. Google is constantly crawling websites, meaning sooner or later your content will be discovered without any effort on your part.
Large, prominent websites are crawled frequently. You can expect Google to be aware of your changes within a few days, so submitting changes is a benefit rather than a necessity. This is especially true when the changed pages are easily found when you crawl the site.
Websites with a lower domain authority may not be crawled as frequently, so if you can’t manually submit your content for indexing, there could be a longer wait for the search giant to be aware of changes. If your website has a low to medium domain authority, consider submitting your XML sitemap to Google for quicker indexing while the “request indexing” part of the URL inspection tool is down.
Submit Your Sitemap on Google Search Console
Submitting a sitemap is essentially a more significant version of submitting one URL. We’re asking Google to crawl our entire XML sitemap, refreshing their data on the entire website. While this isn’t a necessary thing to request regularly, it can help new and updated pages be discovered while the “request indexing” service is not working.
Follow these steps to submit your sitemap:
- Double check that the new or changed pages are included in your XML sitemap.
- Navigate to the correct section of Search Console by clicking “sitemaps” in the indexing section of the left side menu.
- Enter sitemap.xml (or your custom sitemap URL) at the end of the domain where it says, “Add a new sitemap.”
- Click “submit” and you’re all set!
Additionally, to make sure your sitemap is regularly crawled by Google and other search engines without any effort, include your sitemap in a line of your robots.txt file like this:
How to Submit a URL in Google Search Console
If you’re not familiar with the “request indexing” feature of Google Search Console, make a note to utilize it when the functionality returns. Submitting a URL and requesting indexing informs Google that a new page has been added to your site or changes have been made that you want to be accounted for in the ranking algorithm.
Here’s how to use the tool:
- Enter the URL you would like to be crawled at the top of the page, next to the search magnifying glass, where it says, “Inspect any URL in your website’s domain.”
- Once the page processes, Google Search Console will inform you of whether the page has already been indexed. It is possible that the page has been indexed but your updated content has not been.
- Click “request indexing,” which is in green text on the page.
- Wait for confirmation that the page was submitted to Google.
Submitting a URL to Google is an easy task, though it can become time consuming if you have a lot of pages to submit. Manually submitting pages isn’t a requirement to have your page indexed or crawled, but it will speed up the process of getting a new or updated page onto the SERP.
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