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Search Console reports previously unknown issues.

Welcome to 2021 everyone. Hopefully it can be a little better than last year. E-commerce had a stellar year in 2020 and we expect it to continue that way into this one. There’s a new report available in Google Search Console and we’ve discovered a couple of major issues with two e-commerce platforms. How will it affect you?

  • Expect e-commerce to continue on its rise through 2021
  • A new report available for all sites in GSC
  • Our research has discovered some major problems for two ecommerce platforms
  • How you can use it to deep dive your site
  • Why it’s important to keep an orderly site


Hey, happy New Year Rankers. How are you going? Well that one’s over, thank goodness. And it looks like we got more of the same history, hopefully not. Well, one thing we hope is going to happen is that the big uptick in online shopping that happened last year seems to be continuing through this year. We did notice in Australia that Black Friday certainly eclipsed Boxing Day. There was a lot of that, I don’t know why. We’ll see what happens this year. It could be different again. Don’t know. It could flip back. Who knows? But I did mention towards the end last year, about, just briefly, about a new report that is available in Google Search Console. I haven’t seen terribly much written about it, but it is available for all sites in Google Search Console now. The ones that we’ve encountered I haven’t seen anyone that doesn’t have it. But it’s worth looking at, because we’ve discovered two major issues with two major e-commerce platforms.

New report issues

I’m not going to tell you who they are, but you might want to go and have a look, because we’re already talking to one of these platforms about the problem that’s been uncovered with this new Crawl Stats report, and we’re digging deeper into another one, and then we’ll reach out to them as well, and just have a chat to them about it as well. Because it’s given us a lot more detail than what we’ve ever had before. This was actually my favourite report, the old one, of the Crawl Stats report, because it used to show an average download time of a page, over time. You could correspond some of that data to what was maybe happening in Pingdom or changes on the site, those sorts of things. So you get an idea of the speed changes that the Googlebot was encountering directly.

This new report breaks down all the bots for us. It breaks down the types of requests the bot is making. It tells us why the bot was making that request. The sorts of responses it got, what it’s downloading. One of these is one of the things we’ve discovered, and that is in fact one of the platforms seems to have both of the issues that I just mentioned. If you have a look at here, it says that bar response, we had 48%, 200 okay, but we had 46%, 400 and something. Now 400 and something is usually an error of some type, right? So we went and checked these and they’re all 403s. A 403 is a forbidden error, meaning that you’re not allowed to go and see that. It just so happens that when this e-commerce platform is being used is that when people unpublish a product or a page or something like that, it actually returns a 403 when someone goes to try to request it. Normally that would be a 404, and that’s perfectly fine.
But in the case of a 403, it’s telling the Googlebot in the world something else, something different. And you can see there, there is a large amount of time spent looking at those 403s. … The glasses on. 46% of the time, it is encountering those errors, which is not great, right? Now the other error that we found and this platform has both of them, and it’s also present in a… Sorry about the dogs in the studio. Hey, it’s a home studio.

Good housekeeping

This one is by the Googlebot type. So Googlebot lists, there’s different Googlebots. The Googlebot list, Google lists the different Googlebots. You can see there you got the smartphone, you got desktop and you got the image bot. Now interestingly this one is using a lot of the page resource load bot, rather than the image bot maybe. But we’ve noticed this with a couple of sites, and the ones that we have gone and checked is we noticed a lot of the pages are only loading maybe 50% of the page resources, which is on, right? So there’s a lot of stuff in here that you can go and have look in and do a deep dive. I would recommend definitely setting up a domain property as well. So domain property covers your HTTPS dub-dub-dub, HTTP dub-dub-dub, and then without the W’s as well.

So if you set up the domain property, it’s going to list all those different domains for you to have a look at individually and find out maybe that the Googlebot is going to a domain that you don’t really want to go into anymore. We’ve found that with a couple of clients. Old staging the mains, old advertising domains, testing domains, these sorts of things, that the client never even knew was still alive, but they happen to be and the Googlebot was sending to. Now all of this is just good housekeeping, right? It’s just about making the site work better, making the site more readable and easy to access for Google. So hopefully that’s helpful. If you are not subscribed you should subscribe because we’re going to be having a webinar probably late February at this stage, and I’ll be talking about which platforms that I’ve pointed here, and a bunch of other stuff as well that we didn’t cover last year.

So if you are a retailer or maybe you’ve been in business maybe three, four years, something like that, we’re going to go to the next level. This is for you, it’s not for a startup type, a new e-commerce store or anything like that. It’s someone who has been around the traps for a little while, and you need to go to that next level because you’ve seen a bit of an uptick in 2020. Hope that’s helpful, have a great year everyone, and if you have any questions, please, leave them in the comments on YouTube or on LinkedIn. I’m no longer on Facebook or Twitter because of their censorship rules. I’ll get banned off each site. I think it’s better off to take a pre-emptive strike. I will see you next week. Thanks very much. Bye.

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