Google Webmaster Tools Adds Smartphone Specific Crawl Errors

Google Webmaster Tools - Facebook FeaturedPierre Far, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, announced a new feature within Google Webmaster Tools that shows webmasters crawl errors specific to smartphone devices.

The issue is: it is often hard for webmasters to detect and thus fix errors that happen on smartphone devices. Google decided to add a section to the crawl errors report that shows some of the more common errors Google sees webmasters make when smartphone users access the site.

Google said that some of these errors may “significantly hurt your website’s user experience and are the basis of some of our recently-announced ranking changes for smartphone search results.”

Now you can access a new Smartphone errors tab in the crawl errors report. It looks like this:

smartphone-errors

Here are some of what is reported in this crawl error report:

  • Server errors: A server error is when Googlebot got an HTTP error status code when it crawled the page.
  • Not found errors and soft 404s: A page can show a “not found” message to Googlebot, either by returning an HTTP 404 status code or when the page is detected as a soft error page.
  • Faulty redirects: A faulty redirect is a smartphone-specific error that occurs when a desktop page redirects smartphone users to a page that is not relevant to their query. A typical example is when all pages on the desktop site redirect smartphone users to the homepage of the smartphone-optimized site.
  • Blocked URLs: A blocked URL is when the site’s robots.txt explicitly disallows crawling by Googlebot for smartphones. Typically, such smartphone-specific robots.txt disallow directives are erroneous. You should investigate your server configuration if you see blocked URLs reported in Webmaster Tools.

For more on mobile SEO topics, see our mobile SEO category.