A screenshot of the new Smartphone tab under Google Webmaster Tools’ Crawl Errors section

Google Expands Webmaster Tools to Show Smartphone Crawl Errors

It can be difficult to identify smartphone-specific problems on your website unless a smartphone user starts pointing it out. Your web developers might be so focused on troubleshooting and maintaining your website using a desktop computer that they might not even be aware of the problems smartphone users run into when accessing your website. With so many people using mobile devices to access the internet today, overlooking smartphone-specific problems can significantly affect your website’s usability and engagement.

The recent update to Google Webmaster Tools expands the Crawl Errors feature to identify common smartphone errors on your website.

The Crawl Errors section of the Google Webmaster Tools dashboard now displays crawl information and errors for smartphones, including:

  • Server errors – This kind of error occurs when Googlebot gets an HTTP error status code when it crawls a page.
  • Not found errors and soft 404s – These happen when a page can shows a “not found” message to Googlebot by returning an HTTP 404 status code or when it detects the page as a soft error page.
  • Faulty redirects – These are smartphone-specific errors that occur when desktop pages redirect smartphone users to pages that aren’t relevant to their query.
  • Blocked URLs: A blocked URL is when your site’s robots.txt explicitly disallows Googlebot from crawling the page for smartphones. These smartphone-specific robots.txt disallow directives are usually erroneous. You need to check your server configuration if you see blocked URLs listed in Webmaster Tools.

This new addition makes it easier for website owners and web developer companies to create websites that provide good user experience for all users no matter what device they’re using.

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Jobelle Omang

Jobelle Omang

Jobelle Omang is the Marketing Specialist for TrueLogic Online Solutions, Inc. Part of her job is to deliver tactical online marketing strategies, campaigns and content programs for TrueLogic and other internal brands. When not working, you can see her either reading, writing, painting, drawing, or teaching kids.May or may not be obsessed with Doctor Who.