Google Updates ‘Inspect URL’ Tool For The Better

Google Updates ‘Inspect URL’ Tool For The Better

Updates have been made to the Inspect URL tool within Google Search Console to include useful information about HTTP response codes, JavaScript logs and rendered screenshots.

The tool and information are readily available after logging into Search Console, heading to the Inspect URL Tool and clicking on the ‘View crawled page’ button. Users will then be presented with a sidebar, sliding in from the right side of the screen, which includes separate tabs for the new data.

Google wrote on Twitter “You can now see the HTTP response, page resources, JS logs and a rendered screenshot for a crawled page right from within the Inspect URL tool.”

HTTP Response Codes

Clicking on the ‘more info’ tab will include the new HTTP response code data for the specified page. You will be able to determine if the page is OK (code 200), not found (code 404), moved permanently (code 410), experiencing a server error (code 500) and any other status.

Blocked Resources

Again under the ‘more info’ tab, users will find a heading for Page resources. Within this section will be information regarding any resources on the page that couldn’t be loaded by Googlebot. Whilst blocked resources don’t always cause problems, there are some cases where it’s bad for SEO. Thankfully, Search Console lists these blocked resources in order of severity, so you can always make a judgement call as to whether a blocked resource needs addressing and which first.

Rendered Screenshot

The new Screenshot tab includes a ‘test live URL’ button, which will render and display a screenshot of the specified URL. The most useful part of this feature is that the screenshot is rendered by Googlebot, therefore giving a good indication of how the page appears to Google when being crawled. This is great for identifying any missing content, particularly in conjunction with the blocked resources feature also added.

JavaScript Logs

Whilst you may want to pass this information on to your developers, it is still vital information to have and can trigger the necessary actions to put any errors right. In the ‘more info’ tab there will now be JavaScript console messages displayed – really handy stuff for diagnosing and debugging potential JavaScript code errors.

Why are the new updates useful?

In a nutshell: gaining insight into what the Googlebot “sees” when it crawls and renders the page is very useful to SEOs and webmasters. Sometimes developers build websites in a way that may be great for user experience but doesn’t take the Googlebot into consideration. This tool can show you those issues in a very specific and actionable manner. You can then use these details to show your developer what needs to be addressed, changed, fixed or adjusted.