Bill Bennett

Bill Bennett

Proof Google Search Console is just plain weird

Overnight Google sent an email:

Search Console has identified that some pages on your site are not being indexed due to the following new reason:

Blocked due to access forbidden (403)

The URL in question is:…

It popped up for the first time today.

Which may seem a plausible error, but it really isn’t.

The URL is for an internal WordPress plug-in. In other words a URL that Google should never have crawled anyway. But that’s only the first odd thing.

It’s been more than three years since I switched from WordPress to Ghost. Moreover, if I ever did install the ie-sitemode plug-in, it would have only been for a day or two, it was never on my standard list of plug-ins and does not show up in any of the copious back-ups I kept of the WordPress site.

Google Search Console shows a list of pages that refer to the URL. With the exception of the home URL none of these still exist. Indeed none of them have existed for over a decade now.

So GSC has found an ‘error’ in a URL that should not have been indexed in the first place, only fleetingly existed and hasn’t been around for a decade.

Meanwhile popular, current, active pages remain unlisted.

Google Search is screwed.