Google Search Console item classifications updated to show valid or invalid

Google changed how it is displaying errors within some of the Search Console reports to show only valid or invalid classifications, the company announced today. Instead of the coverage report showing errors, valid with warnings and valid; now the report just shows invalid or valid information.

What changed. Google said the URLs or items in the Search Console report are no longer grouped at the top level by three or more status categories, i.e. Valid, Warning, and Error. Now they are grouped or classified into two more broad statuses that reflect whether those URLs or items are invalid or not. Google said invalid means that there is a report-specific critical issue in the page or item, and not invalid means that the item might still contain warnings, but has no critical issues. The implications and exact terms for the valid and invalid states varies by report type, Google added.

Google explained “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.”

What is looks like. Google shared this before and after coverage report sample:

API and URL Inspection tool. Google said these changes are coming to the URL inspection tool and the API soon. The URL inspection tool will show these changes when inspecting a particular URL inside Search Console.

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The API will take months to reflect these changes in “in a few months.” This will take longer for the API and because of that “this means that if your property shows the updated item classification in Search Console, you might see differences when comparing results from the product interface and the API,” Google explained. Google will update us on the status of the API changes in the future.

Impacted reports. Google said these are the following reports impacted by this classification change and you can learn more exactly how each report is impacted in this help document:

  • Core Web Vitals
  • Mobile Usability
  • AMP report
  • Rich results report
  • URL Inspection tool

Why we care. This should make it easier for you to understand errors in Search Console reports and thus which items to prioritize over others. This change is just a reporting change and does not change how Google crawls, indexes or ranks your content.