Here we are again.

After a 3-day vacation we’ve had a… not a very good day.

We’ve had just 2 page views (in these 3 days) and a new Google Search Console 5xx error (7 so far).

 

So today, instead of having a “writing day”, we’ve had an Error fixing day.

Then, we’ll explain you how we fixed the Google Search Console errors we’ve found so far (not just today’s).

 

In case you don’t know, in this section we talk about How we are building this Website: our SEO strategy, Theme and Plugins we use, our Real Results (Pageviews and Users we have)…

 

Today’s post will be divided into 2 parts:

1. How to fix Google Search Console errors.

2. Today’s Google Analytics report.

 

Let’s begin:

1. How to fix Google Search Console errors (we have found so far).

So far, we have had these 4 “Google Search Console errors“:

  1. Submitted URL blocked by robots.txt.
  2. Submitted URL marked ‘noindex’.
  3. Submitted URL seems to be a Soft 404.
  4. Server error (5xx).

This is how we solved them:

 

1. Submitted URL blocked by robots.txt.

For us, this had been a very simple problem to solve.

At the that moment we had:

  • All in One WP Security” Plugin installed and Activated.
  • Until 2 days before, we’ve had the “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” option activated within the WordPress “Settings – Reading” options.
    • We had been building the basic Website’s structure.

Some important pages were being blocked; What made no sense.

 

We are not sure whether it was generated by the “Discourage search engines” option (we had deactivated it 2 days before) or the “All in one wp security” Plugin, but our “robots.txt” file had a:

  • “Disallow /*”.
    • With this line in the “Robots.txt”, you are not allowing Google to crawl all your pages.
    • It just affected some pages, not all of them (what again, made no sense).

 

Measures taken:

1. We deactivated and uninstalled the “All in One WP security” Plugin in order to be sure it didn’t generate any issue.

2. We modified the “Robots.txt” manually, writing just:

    • User-agent: *
    • Disallow:/wp-admin/

3. We submitted the new “Robots.txt” to Google through the Google Robots.txt tool

Everything got solved Immediately.

 

2. Submitted URL marked ‘noindex’.

This is not an error in our case:

We generate our Sitemap through the “Google XML Sitemaps” Plugin.

And this Plugin, when generating your Sitemap, request to Google not to index your Sitemap.

That simple: it is not a problem, really.

  • As you can appreciate in the picture above, we still have “this issue”.

 

3. Submitted URL seems to be a Soft 404.

This error is also very easy to solve, even for us.

 

A “Soft 404” error occurs when a page is empty.

 

We had this issue with our “Post pages”, and Google Search Console was telling us to put some content on that page.

At that time, we still had not a single post written (we basically write pages) so solved it by writing 3 simple Posts introducing ourselves to the users. That is all.

 

We simply wrote 2-3 short Posts and inspected again the Web page.

  • It was not empty anymore, so… problem solved.

 

4. Server error (5xx).

This is the error that has been bothering us the most.

Hence, we have read tons of pages that talked about it.

There are different Server errors (5xx): the worst ones don’t allow you to enter in a certain important page (not our case).

These Errors are usually caused by:

  • A problem with your “.htaccess” file.
    • As it happened to us with the Security Plugin mentioned before, sometimes, a certain plugin may modify something important regarding your access.
    • In this case, you can solve it by just deleting your .htaccess file, and if it works, you have to save your Permalink configuration within your “Settings – Permalink” menu. That is all.
      • There is plenty of information on-line.

It didn’t solved our error.

 

  • A problem with your PHP memory limit exceeded:
    • If your Website is full-of content and Plugins, you may have to increase your Memory limit.
    • It is like the RAM memory.
    • You may solve it by adding to your “wp-config.php” file:
    • define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘256MB’).

We already had the Memory at 256 MB.

 

  • A problem of loop-redirecting:
    • We don’t know why it happens, buy it seems that it doesn’t allow you to login.
    • You end up login in again and again.
    • You may solve it by defining your Main URL by adding to your “wp-config.php” file:
      • define(‘WP_HOME’, ‘https://www.yoursite.com’);
      • define(‘WP_SITEURL’,’https://www.yoursite.com’);

It didn’t worked for us.

 

  • A problem of time limit exceeded:
    • Exactly as happened with the PHP memory limit exceeded, sometimes, you may have the same problem but with the time limit.
    • You may solve it by increasing your time limit, by adding to your “wp-config.php” file:
      • set_time_limit(300);

Again, we already had the time_limit set to 300.

 

  • A problem of permissions:
    • Some people mentioned that they experienced an error 5xx because their wp-content Folder permissions were not the proper ones (we use cPanel Field Manager).
      • Check this on-line, but we have read that they should be:
      • 0755 for your Folders (wp-content seems to be the Key).
      • 0644 for your files.

We had everything with the proper Permissions.

 

How did we solve our Error 5xx problem?

 

We realized that all our Error 5xx had the same URL structure:

  • /wp-login.php?redirect_to=
  •  Giving redirecting login issues as result.

Since we are not using any SEO Plugin, our “robots.txt” has been manually written by us.

  • On it, we didn’t disallowed Google to index redirecting login pages, that are actually empty of content; they are “useless” pages.
  • So we wrote on our robots.txt:
    • “Disallow: /wp-login.php/”.

 

This is automatically done by Yoast or any other SEO Plugin, but we didn’t have done it yet.

By doing so, you block these useless pages that are creating Errors 5xx in Google Search Console, and are not really “content pages”.

 

UPDATED (2 months and 2 days later): We have the results about this “Robots.txt” solution.

Check our “47th day: Solving Google Search Console errors – Results” Post.

  • There, we show our Coverage Graphs and Results after these 2 months.
    • Pages with Errors evolution.
    • Valid with Warnings pages evolution.
    • Excluded pages evolution.
  • And how much time took to Google Search Console to realize about the changes we made.

 

2. Today’s Google Analytics report.

These last 3 days have been terrible. So we’ll comment it quickly.

As you may have already appreciated in the Image above (our Google Analytics report):

  •  Users in 3 days: 2.

We hope to increase our users and page views soon.

 

But remember: this is a long journey, and our website is just 1.5 months old.

 

Tomorrow, more.

 

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