Google has delivered us some nice tools, past and present. However, it NEVER ceases to amaze me how little they understand about most of their own users for these tools. There is always some shortsighted issue for the business owner.
A great example of this type of short sited issue can be found in “Crawl Errors” under your Diagnostics bar. This tool has been a source of unending frustration… always. Why?
There is a very
simple stupid reason why…. Business website owners haven’t the knowledge to understand that blocking pages in robots.txt is important and they are NOT crawl errors in the layman’s sense in which they are presented!
Now the new Google Webmaster Tools Site Health feature seeks to label blocked pages such as tag pages, archives and even damn uploads directory stuff like images as a “SEVERE HEALTH ISSUE FOUND ON YOUR SITE!“. Yes, they even have a little RED exclamation point.
So in our webmaster tools account we have 2 of these sites (at the very top of the main dash page), that have severe health issues. Both sites have only 1 ding…. The first has tag and archive pages blocked in robots.txt (well… duhhhh), while the second has its WP uploads directory content blocked (which is blocking an image of obvious huge importance?).
The problem? Google has first alarmed the user with strong, scary text (Severe health issues are found on your site), images and colors. Secondly, telling the user that an archive page for example, blocked in robots.txt is an “important page”. So the user, who is probably just a business owner…. Hurries to pay their IT guy to unblock this “important page”, so Google can omit it from the search results for duplicity and “low quality”.
Seriously, I really doubt that Google gives these things a second thought….. But I can assure you that these short sighted and somewhat lazy generalizations in the language and presentation of informational data being reported as problematic causes many Google users grief! Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the tools…. They just seem to lack the dedication to present data accurately. Is it really too much trouble to include data like this as informational as opposed to “alarming issues”?