Google’s new URL Inspection Tool allows retailers to see if Google has indexed certain web pages, if there are problems with those pages and points merchants in the right direction if there are errors.

Google Inc. launched a new tool that allows businesses—including retailers—to see how Google indexes a specific page on a website.

The tool—called the URL Inspection Tool—allows site or page owners to enter a URL, and then Google will let merchants know:

  • If Google has indexed the URL, which means that Google has crawled the page and it appears in search results;
  • If the URL appears in Google Search results, but also if there are problems with the URL and what those problems might be;
  • If the URL is not on Google, but Google believes that was on purpose, such as a password-protected page; or
  • If the URL is an alternate version of another page, such as a mobile version of a desktop page.

 

If the page is indexed properly, Google also will list any enhancements it sees on the page, such as an AMP version of the page, which are super-fast mobile loading pages called Accelerated Mobile Pages.

“We hope that the URL Inspection tool will help you debug issues with new or existing pages in the Google Index,” the search giant writes in a blog post announcing the tool, which will be available to all users in the coming weeks.

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The tool, which is located on Google’s Search Console page, is a great start to make search results more transparent, says Brian Klais, founder and president of Pure Oxygen Labs, a mobile marketing and mobile search engine optimization firm.

“Retailers can now learn, for example, whether Google crawled a particular product page due to the page being listed in a sitemap, or perhaps due to press or a notable blog that links to it,” Klais says. “That helps retailers know which channels or initiatives drove discovery in Google.”

The URL Inspection Tool also will note when Google crawled the page and if it crawled the page on desktop or mobile. “These are clues that will definitely help retail SEO marketers view their pages as Google sees them,” Klais says.

However, Klais notes, the tool does not provide any information about how Google views the URL’s mobile readiness, page speed or type of web design—or if the URL has the appropriate server settings, content parity or meta tagging.

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