This blog will talk about the URL inspection tool in GSC, which provides information about Google's indexed and live versions of a specific page on your site. It is said to be one of the essential debugging tools that help understand why your page may not appear as you expect it in Search results.
By the end of this blog, you should be able to find out the current index status of your pages, test a live URL, ask Google to crawl a specific page and view detailed information about the page's loaded resources and other information.
You can access this tool from the top bar, from the Navigation sidebar, or anywhere you see a magnifying glass next to a URL in a table. Paste the complete URL that you want to check into the Inspect search box in Search Console. You can use the URL Inspection tool only when the URL you're inspecting is in the current property. Note that this tool can only be used for web pages and will only show results for web searches. Once the page displays the results, you will see three different sections, all of them presenting information from Google's last crawl or crawl attempt, not from a live test of the page.
In the Presence on Google card, you'll get a verdict on whether or not the URL can appear in Google Search results. For example, your URL can return a response that the URL is on Google, which means you're good. Or you might learn that the URL is on Google but has issues, which means the URL has been indexed and can appear in Google Search results, but there might be issues with structured data on the page.
In the Coverage section, you'll learn where the page was discovered, such as a sitemap or a referring page, when was the last crawl, by which user agent, and whether the page is included in the Google web index, or maybe another version of it was chosen as the canonical for the Google index. For example, here you might discover that the specific page is currently submitted in your sitemap but marked as no index. Or that there is a server error on your site and Google couldn't reach a number of pages.
In the Enhancements section, you'll find any structured data details along with AMP and mobile usability warnings and errors. For example, if your page is not marked up properly with structured data, the inspection will return an error detailing the missing or wrong values. You can learn more about each of the sections in the Search Console Help Center. Once you get the current page status, you will have three main actions to perform. First, you can click the Test live URL to see if the page can be indexed by Google. This runs a test against the live page for information similar to the indexed URL. This is very useful to test live if an issue still exists even after you have fixed it on your site.
If you want to see a live rendered version of your page by Google, this is the only place you'll find it. This test confirms whether Googlebot can access your page for indexing. However, even if a live test is positive, your page must still fulfill other conditions in order to be indexed, such as:
1. Following the Webmaster Guidelines
2. Click Request indexing for Google to reindex your page if you make changes to it. For instance, if you fixed a structured data error, enhanced your mobile usability, or performed a major change in the page, you might want to request indexing.
3. View more information about the tested page by clicking the View crawled page. This will show the retrieved HTML, more info about the HTTP response, and page resources loaded.
We hope you now understand how to inspect a URL to get information about Google's indexed version of a specific page on your site. That might come in really handy when analyzing your Search efforts on Google.