Almost any SEO would know how to get to the coverage report in Google Search Console, and either look at the total indexed URLs, or specifically, look at the total of “indexed and submitted” URLs. Sounds a little blurry?
Let’s work with a screenshot (below) that almost anyone would be familiar with.
Per the image above, we see two primary information:
- First, we see a total of 38 valid URLs.
- That total is the sum of submitted and indexed URLs, and Indexed, not submitted in sitemap.
Now technically speaking, you can click into the submitted and indexed row, and look at all the URLs, to get an overall picture. However, because my website is new, I am only dealing with 38 URLs at the moment. What if you’re dealing with a million URLs from 20 or 30 sitemap files? How can you quickly get an idea of how many are currently indexed FROM each sitemap — versus looking at the total number?
Welcome to Index Coverage Report for Sitemaps
Similar to how Google gives you an overall picture with their main coverage report, they also do the same for each sitemap. To get there, follow the steps below:
- Go to your sitemaps as you usually do.
- Pick one sitemap, and click into it.
- Then, you’ll primarily see three things: When was the sitemap last read, how many URLs are discovered, and whether it was processed successfully.
- The hidden gem here (well not really), is the “see index coverage.” (Screenshot below for reference).
You May Also Want to Check Out:
- The Power of Google Search Console’s URL Inspection Tool
- Understanding the Core Fundamental Relationships Between Links and SEO
- Two Accurate Ways to Verify a 301 Redirect
- 3 Basic URL Structure Best Practices for Avoiding Negative SEO Performance
- 3 Methods of Verifying if Google Tag Manager Is Installed Correctly
If you’ve made it till here, you may have already realized that there was a much easier approach to getting this same information. Going back to the discussion of the overall coverage report, there is a drop down on the top left corner. Opening that will give you options to select a sitemap. This method will achieve the same outcome.
I didn’t discuss this at the beginning because I wanted you to be aware of the longer approach as well — and know that there is an option to directly jump to this report within “sitemaps” too.
Knowing how the coverage of your total URLs looks like paints a story, but so does a report of narrowing down to individual sitemaps. Because it’s one thing for Google to discover the URLs, and another to index them. Plus, if you’re noticing that URLs from a specific sitemap are taking longer to be indexed than usual, you can investigate for any potential issues.