Octavia DrexlerApril 11, 2022

Did the Google Search Console URL Inspection Tool Encounter Errors?

Google comes out with updates seemingly every other day, and these updates are either new features that Google Ads is implementing, or they’re bug fixes that happen in the background. However, very often, with these updates come errors too. Google isn’t perfect by any means (hold your shock!), and this time is no exception. One of their more recent shenanigans in the world of bugs and errors? The Google Search Console URL inspection tool experienced errors -- and to the date, no clear explanation has been given.

What Happened? 

On March 1st, Google announced on Twitter that users are having trouble using the URL Inspection Tool, both in the Search Console, and the API. This issue increases the number of errors when users inspect URLs. Google then said that they are working to fix the problem, but Google has not confirmed that this error is resolved, and some users are still having issues with the URL Inspection Tool. 

Other Twitter users have chimed in, confirming that the URL Inspection Tool isn’t working for them, either. Some Twitter users are having issues with indexing as well - while we don’t know if the problems are related (Google has not confirmed anything beyond the original tweet), Twitter user @JohnMu says that this issue only affects reporting in Search Console, not indexing. Regardless, Google has remained tight-lipped about the cause and the solution to this issue (and they even closed the Google Webmaster Help thread started on the topic)

What Is the URL Inspection Tool? 

In late January of this year, Google announced the launch of the Google Search Console URL Inspection API (try saying that three times fast). This new tool allows users to gain access to URL-level data that is managed in Search Console. Google went on to say that this tool is especially useful for web developers, who can easily debug and optimize their pages while utilizing URL Inspection API. 

The API is great because users can set parameters on the URLs they want to inspect, and the results contain information from a variety of places, such as Search Console, AMP, rich results, and even tests the mobile usability. 

Google isn’t just targeting developers — SEO agencies and CMS developers are also being targeted. Furthermore, the API also allows users to check for differences between user-declared canonicals and ones that are Google selected. 

Plus, the Search Console URL Inspection API can also aid in the debugging of structured data issues from groups of pages, which is great for those who are looking at a lot of data at one time. 

CMS developers can use API to add page insights, template-level insights, and ongoing checks for pages that are already created. This is great because monitoring changes over time helps to outline issues and prioritize solutions.

Google is always doing something, whether it’s releasing an update to Google Ads, or if it’s trying to improve security and data privacy. This time, Google is working to fix an unexpected error regarding the Google Search Console URL Inspection Tool. 

So far, Google no clear update came from Google as an explanation as to why the URL inspection tool didn’t work. No more complaints have been made since either, though. We also don’t know what caused the issue, what else this error is going to affect, or whether it will happen again. Many users complained on Twitter that this issue was not new whatsoever – and yet, no reply was given from the official Google Search Central account.

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