Fix Excluded Posts on Search Console Coverage

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As of now, my website has ~2,610 pages listed as “Excluded” in my Google Search Console.

Excluded pages will not show up in Google search results, and are ignored by Google’s indexing robot. Why are these posts being excluded? Google actually gives the reason, and it’s not your fault – nor is it a bad thing.

Why are my pages excluded?

In the excluded section, 937 of my excluded pages are excluded for the reason “Alternate page with proper canonical tag”:

These are mostly my AMP (Accelerated Mobile Page) URLs, which present a mobile-friendly version of my posts to mobile users.

Why are they being excluded? The reason given (alternate page with proper tag) says that a different URL to these pages have been found, that should be preferred as the primary URL for these listings. In other words, it found two URLs to the same post and chose to exclude one and use the other for the listing.

This is normal and preferred behavior of Google’s Search Engine – otherwise, we’d get double listings.

In fact, all of the excluded pages are being excluded for a good reason, and we wouldn’t want them to be listed. 

The most common reason for excluded pages – and the 2nd largest group of my excluded posts – are posts “excluded by noindex tag“.

The part that stands out most in these URLs (~25 out of 457 excluded total) is the /feed/ suffix at the end. These are the RSS feeds that WordPress automatically generates for many areas in your website, even posts and image attachments. While they are useful to RSS feed readers, they should not be listed as a Google Search Result. For that reason, WordPress has added a “noindex” tag that tells Google not to index these pages on search listings.

Other examples of “noindex” pages:

  • Client Invoice Page/Client Dashboard
  • WordPress Admin/Login Page
  • Checkout & Cart pages

These pages should only be accessed directly or through a link on your website. 

So what do you need to do about these thousands of excluded links? Nothing. They’re all being excluded for a good purpose, either by Google to make sure only content relevant to someone’s search is being shown, or by your own WordPress website to protect certain pages from being listed.