On Wednesday June 15, 2022, Google announced, over on their developer blog, that they are working on simplifying how they classify things in Search Console, their flagship SEO reporting platform.
They explained that they are simplifying things including:
- How they are classifying pages,
- How they are classifying items,
- How they are classifying issues
The reasoning behind this is two-fold: 1. They want to provide greater clarity and ability for the SEO professional to focus on critical issues that could impact site visibility in search, and 2. So that the SEO professional can better prioritize their work.
Google also explained that these changes are rolling out on a gradual basis over the coming months.
They also said that you shouldn’t notice any changes for the time being.
Furthermore, they stated that this is only a reporting change and that there is no change to how Google Search crawls, indexes, or serves your pages.
They also provided the following screenshot comparison of old vs. new reporting:
From their official announcement:
Users have told us that they are confused by the “warning” status when it’s applied to a URL or item: does a warning mean that the page or item can or can’t appear on Google?
In response, we are grouping the top-level item (a rich result for the rich result reports, a page or URL for the other reports) into two groups: pages or items with critical issues are labeled something like invalid; pages or items without critical issues are labeled something like valid. We think this new grouping will make it easier to see quickly which issues affect your site’s appearance on Google, in order to help you prioritize your fixes. Read more about how this change will affect each of the reports in the Help Center.
To reiterate, this is only a reporting change in Search Console; there are no changes in how Google Search crawls, indexes, or serves your pages.”