September 21, 2023

On this article, we’ll see how one can discover and repair technical search engine optimization points, however solely these that may severely have an effect on your rankings.

In case you’d prefer to observe alongside, get Ahrefs Webmaster Instruments and Google Search Console (each are free) and verify for the next points.

Indexability is a webpage’s potential to be listed by search engines like google. Pages that aren’t indexable can’t be displayed on the search engine outcomes pages and may’t herald any search site visitors. 

Three necessities have to be met for a web page to be indexable:

  1. The web page have to be crawlable. In case you haven’t blocked Googlebot from coming into the web page robots.txt or you’ve got a web site with fewer than 1,000 pages, you in all probability don’t have a difficulty there. 
  2. The web page should not have a noindex tag (extra on that in a bit).
  3. The web page have to be canonical (i.e., the principle model). 


In Ahrefs Webmaster Instruments (AWT):  

  1. Open Web site Audit
  2. Go to the Indexability report 
  3. Click on on points associated to canonicalization and “noindex” to see affected pages
Indexability issues in Site Audit

For canonicalization points on this report, you will want to exchange unhealthy URLs within the hyperlink rel="canonical" tag with legitimate ones (i.e., returning an “HTTP 200 OK”). 

As for pages marked by “noindex” points, these are the pages with the “noindex” meta tag positioned inside their code. Likelihood is many of the pages discovered within the report there ought to keep as is. However in the event you see any pages that shouldn’t be there, merely take away the tag. Do be sure that these pages aren’t blocked by robots.txt first. 


Click on on the query mark on the best to see directions on how one can repair every challenge. For extra detailed directions, click on on the “Study extra” hyperlink. 

Instruction on how to fix an SEO issue in Site Audit

A sitemap ought to include solely pages that you really want search engines like google to index. 

When a sitemap isn’t frequently up to date or an unreliable generator has been used to make it, a sitemap could begin to present damaged pages, pages that grew to become “noindexed,” pages that had been de-canonicalized, or pages blocked in robots.txt. 



  1. Open Web site Audit 
  2. Go to the All points report
  3. Click on on points containing the phrase “sitemap” to seek out affected pages 
Sitemap issues shown in Site Audit

Relying on the problem, you’ll have to:

  • Delete the pages from the sitemap.
  • Take away the noindex tag on the pages (if you wish to hold them within the sitemap). 
  • Present a legitimate URL for the reported web page. 

Google makes use of HTTPS encryption as a small ranking signal. This implies you possibly can expertise decrease rankings in the event you don’t have an SSL or TLS certificates securing your web site. 

However even in the event you do, some pages and/or assets in your pages should still use the HTTP protocol. 


Assuming you have already got an SSL/TLS certificates for all subdomains (if not, do get one), open AWT and do these: 

  1. Open Web site Audit
  2. Go to the Inner pages report 
  3. Have a look at the protocol distribution graph and click on on HTTP to see affected pages
  4. Contained in the report displaying pages, add a column for Remaining redirect URL 
  5. Make certain all HTTP pages are completely redirected (301 or 308 redirects) to their HTTPS counterparts 
Protocol distribution graph
Internal pages issues report with added column

Lastly, let’s verify if any assets on the positioning nonetheless use HTTP: 

  1. Contained in the Inner pages report, click on on Points
  2. Click on on HTTPS/HTTP blended content material to view affected assets 
Site Audit reporting six HTTPS/HTTP mixed content issues

You may repair this challenge by certainly one of these strategies:

  • Hyperlink to the HTTPS model of the useful resource (verify this feature first) 
  • Embody the useful resource from a distinct host, if obtainable 
  • Obtain and host the content material in your web site immediately if you’re legally allowed to do so
  • Exclude the useful resource out of your web site altogether

Study extra: What Is HTTPS? The whole lot You Have to Know 

Duplicate content material occurs when precise or near-duplicate content material seems on the net in multiple place. 

It’s unhealthy for search engine optimization primarily for 2 causes: It may trigger undesirable URLs to indicate in search outcomes and may dilute hyperlink fairness. 

Content material duplication will not be essentially a case of intentional or unintentional creation of comparable pages. There are different much less apparent causes similar to faceted navigation, monitoring parameters in URLs, or utilizing trailing and non-trailing slashes. 


First, verify in case your web site is accessible underneath just one URL. As a result of in case your web site is accessible as:


Then Google will see all of these URLs as completely different web sites. 

The simplest solution to verify if customers can browse just one model of your web site: sort in all 4 variations within the browser, one after the other, hit enter, and see in the event that they get redirected to the grasp model (ideally, the one with HTTPS). 

It’s also possible to go straight into Web site Audit’s Duplicates report. In case you see 100% unhealthy duplicates, that’s possible the rationale.

Duplicates report showing 100% bad duplicates
Simulation (different kinds of duplicates turned off).

On this case, select one model that can function canonical (possible the one with HTTPS) and completely redirect different variations to it. 

Then run a New crawl in Web site Audit to see if there are another unhealthy duplicates left. 

Running a new crawl in Site Audit

There are just a few methods you possibly can deal with unhealthy duplicates relying on the case. Discover ways to clear up them in our information. 

Study extra: Duplicate Content material: Why It Occurs and Repair It 

Pages that may’t be discovered (4XX errors) and pages returning server errors (5XX errors) received’t be listed by Google in order that they received’t carry you any site visitors. 

Moreover, if damaged pages have backlinks pointing to them, all of that hyperlink fairness goes to waste. 

Damaged pages are additionally a waste of crawl funds—one thing to be careful for on larger web sites. 


In AWT, you must: 

  1. Open Web site Audit.
  2. Go to the Inner pages report.
  3. See if there are any damaged pages. If that’s the case, the Damaged part will present a quantity larger than 0. Click on on the quantity to indicate affected pages.
Broken pages report in Site Audit

Within the report displaying pages with points, it’s a good suggestion so as to add a column for the variety of referring domains. This can allow you to make the choice on how one can repair the challenge. 

Internal pages report with no. of referring domains column added

Now, fixing damaged pages (4XX error codes) is kind of easy, however there’s multiple risk. Right here’s a brief graph explaining the method:

How to deal with broken pages

Coping with server errors (those reporting a 5XX) is usually a harder one, as there are completely different doable causes for a server to be unresponsive. Learn this brief information for troubleshooting.


With AWT, you too can see 404s that had been brought on by incorrect hyperlinks to your web site. Whereas this isn’t a technical challenge per se, reclaiming these hyperlinks could provide you with a further search engine optimization increase.

  1. Go to Web site Explorer
  2. Enter your area 
  3. Go to the Greatest by hyperlinks report
  4. Add a “404 not discovered” filter
  5. Then type the report by referring domains from excessive to low
How to find broken backlinks in Site Explorer
On this instance, somebody linked to us, leaving a comma inside the URL.

In case you’ve already handled damaged pages, likelihood is you’ve fastened many of the damaged hyperlinks points. 

Different crucial points associated to hyperlinks are: 

  • Orphan pages – These are the pages with none inner hyperlinks. Net crawlers have restricted potential to entry these pages (solely from sitemap or backlinks), and there’s no hyperlink fairness flowing to them from different pages in your web site. Final however not least, customers received’t be capable to entry this web page from the positioning navigation. 
  • HTTPS pages linking to inner HTTP pages – If an inner hyperlink in your web site brings customers to an HTTP URL, net browsers will possible present a warning a few non-secure web page. This could injury your total web site authority and consumer expertise.


In AWT, you can:

  1. Go to Web site Audit.
  2. Open the Hyperlinks report.
  3. Open the Points tab. 
  4. Search for the next points within the Indexable class. Click on to see affected pages. 
Important SEO issues related to links

Repair the primary challenge by altering the hyperlinks from HTTP to HTTPS or just delete these hyperlinks if now not wanted.

For the second challenge, an orphan web page must be both linked to from another web page in your web site or deleted if a given web page holds no worth to you.


Ahrefs’ Web site Audit can discover orphan pages so long as they’ve backlinks or are included within the sitemap. For a extra thorough seek for this challenge, you will want to research server logs to seek out orphan pages with hits. Learn the way on this information.

7. Cell expertise points

Having a mobile-friendly web site is a should for search engine optimization. Two causes: 

  1. Google makes use of mobile-first indexing – It’s largely utilizing the content material of cell pages for indexing and rating.
  2. Cell expertise is a part of the Page Experience signals – Whereas Google will allegedly all the time “promote” the web page with the perfect content material, web page expertise is usually a tiebreaker for pages providing content material of comparable high quality. 


In GSC: 

  1. Go to the Cell Usability report within the Expertise part
  2. View affected pages by clicking on points within the Why pages aren’t usable on cell part 
Mobile Usability report in Google Search Console

You may learn Google’s information for fixing cell points here.  

8. Efficiency and stability points 

Efficiency and visible stability are different features of Web page Expertise alerts utilized by Google to rank pages. 

Google has developed a particular set of metrics to measure consumer expertise referred to as Core Net Vitals (CWV). Web site homeowners and SEOs can use these metrics to see how Google perceives their web site by way of UX. 

Google's search signals for page experience

Whereas web page expertise is usually a rating tiebreaker, CWV will not be a race. You don’t have to have the quickest web site on the web. You simply want to attain “good” ideally in all three classes: loading, interactivity, and visible stability. 

Three categories of Core Web Vitals


In GSC: 

  1. First, click on on Core Net Vitals within the Expertise part of the experiences.
  2. Then click on Open report in every part to see how your web site scores. 
  3. For pages that aren’t thought of good, you’ll see a particular part on the backside of the report. Use it to see pages that want your consideration.
How to find Core Web Vitals in Google Search Console
CWV issue report in Google Search Console

Optimizing for CWV could take a while. This will embody issues like transferring to a quicker (or nearer) server, compressing pictures, optimizing CSS, and many others. We clarify how to do that within the third a part of this information to CWV. 

Unhealthy web site construction within the context of technical search engine optimization is especially about having essential natural pages too deep into the web site construction. 

Pages which are nested too deep (i.e., customers want >6 clicks from the web site to get to them) will obtain much less hyperlink fairness out of your homepage (possible the web page with probably the most backlinks), which can have an effect on their rankings. It is because hyperlink worth diminishes with each hyperlink “hop.” 


Web site construction is essential for different causes too similar to the general consumer expertise, crawl effectivity, and serving to Google perceive the context of your pages. Right here, we’ll solely give attention to the technical side, however you possibly can learn extra concerning the subject in our full information: Web site Construction: Construct Your search engine optimization Basis.


In AWT: 

  1. Open Web site Audit
  2. Go to Construction explorer, change to the Depth tab, and set the info sort to Knowledge desk
  3. Configure the Section to solely legitimate HTML pages and click on Apply
  4. Use the graph to analyze pages with greater than six clicks away from the homepage 
How to find site structure issues in Site Audit
Adding a new segment in Site Audit

The way in which to repair the problem is to hyperlink to those deeper nested pages from pages nearer to the homepage. Extra essential pages might discover their place in web site navigation, whereas much less essential ones might be simply linked to the pages just a few clicks nearer.

It’s a good suggestion to weigh in consumer expertise and the enterprise function of your web site when deciding what goes into sitewide navigation. 

For instance, we might in all probability give our search engine optimization glossary a barely larger probability to get forward of natural opponents by together with it in the principle web site navigation. But we determined to not as a result of it isn’t such an essential web page for customers who should not notably trying to find this kind of info. 

We’ve moved the glossary solely up a notch by together with a hyperlink contained in the newbie’s information to search engine optimization (which itself is only one click on away from the homepage). 

Structure explorer showing glossary page is two clicks away from the homepage
One web page from the glossary folder is 2 clicks away from the homepage.
Link that moved SEO glossary a click closer to the homepage
Only one hyperlink, even on the backside of a web page, can transfer a web page larger within the total construction.

Remaining ideas 

Whenever you’re carried out fixing the extra urgent points, dig just a little deeper to maintain your web site in good search engine optimization well being. Open Web site Audit and go to the All points report back to see different points relating to on-page search engine optimization, picture optimization, redirects, localization, and extra. In every case, one can find directions on how one can cope with the challenge. 

All issues report in Site Audit

It’s also possible to customise this report by turning points on/off or altering their precedence. 

Issue report in Site Audit is customizable

Did I miss any essential technical points? Let me know on Twitter or Mastodon.