Technical Audit Checklist (for Human Beings)
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GradeTypeWhereStart hereReference
2
There is a technical reason good content isn’t indexed.
Fail
Outcome
3
URLs are not discoverable by crawlers.
FailCause
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XML sitemaps aren't uploaded to GSC.PassIssueGoogle Search ConsoleIndex > Sitemapshttps://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/183668
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XML sitemaps don't reflect the valid URLs on the site.OKIssueGoogle Search ConsoleIndex > Sitemapshttps://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7451001
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Internal navigation breaks without basic JavaScript rendering capability.FailIssueScreaming Frog CrawlConfiguration > Spider > Rendering
7
There are more than ~300 links on important pages.PassIssueScreaming Frog CrawlOutlinks fieldhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHG6BkmzDEM
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Important content is >4 clicks from the homepage.PassIssueScreaming Frog CrawlCrawl depth field
https://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2008/10/importance-of-link-architecture.html
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Robots.txt blocks content we want in the index.PassIssueGoogle Search Console
Index > Coverage > Submitted URL blocked by robots.txt
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6062608
10
The website is timing out.PassIssueScreaming Frog CrawlStatus code
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The site is down.PassIssueScreaming Frog CrawlStatus code
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Bad URLs are being presented to crawlers as good.
FailCause
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Error pages return 200 status codes.PassIssueScreaming Frog Crawl
Index > Coverage > Submitted URL seems to be a Soft 404
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/93641
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Internal links point to URLs returning 4XX or 5XX status codes.PassIssueDeepCrawl
Summary > All Pages > HTTP Status Breakdown
15
Robots.txt doesn't block URLs that don't belong in the index.PassIssueScreaming Frog Crawl
Configure > robots.txt > Settings > Respect robots.txt
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6062608
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Sitemaps contain valid URLs we want to keep out of the index.OKIssue
Screaming Frog Sitemap Crawl
List mode > Upload > Download sitemap
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Sitemaps contain invalid URLs.FailIssueGoogle Search Console
Index > Sitemaps > See index coverage
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/183669
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Duplication is causing Google to ignore pages.
FailCause
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Canonical tags don't associate duplicate content.PassIssueDeepCrawl
Content > Body Content > Duplicate Body Sets
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/139066
20
URLs work with both HTTP or HTTPS.PassIssueScreaming Frog CrawlURL fieldhttps://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6073543
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Duplicate content shows up on other domains or subdomains.OKIssueDeepCrawl
Content > Body Content > Duplicate Body Sets
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66359
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Multiple URL patterns return the same content.FailIssueDeepCrawl
Content > Body Content > Duplicate Body Sets
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66359
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Mobile markup isn't implemented.PassIssueDeepCrawl
Mobile > Categorization > Separate Mobile
https://developers.google.com/webmasters/mobile-sites/mobile-seo/separate-urls
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Our site serves too many unique pages.
FailCause
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Faceted navigation results in an unbounded amount of content.OKIssueDeepCrawl
Summary > Dashboard > Web Crawl Depth
https://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2014/02/faceted-navigation-best-and-5-of-worst.html
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We haven't specified parameter behavior in GSC.FailIssueGoogle Search ConsoleLegacy tools > URL parametershttps://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6080550
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On-page content is not readable by crawlers.
PassCause
28
Page copy isn't visible with basic JavaScript rendering capability.PassIssueScreaming Frog CrawlConfiguration > Spider > Renderinghttps://developers.google.com/search/docs/guides/fix-search-javascript
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We load crucial content in an iframe.PassIssueScreaming Frog CrawlCustom filter for "<iframe"https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/34445
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We load crucial content in Flash.PassIssueScreaming Frog CrawlConfiguration > Spider > Check SWFhttps://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/72746#1
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We serve different content to different user agents, including crawlers.PassIssueScreaming Frog CrawlConfiguration > User-Agenthttps://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66355
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Mobile URLs don't resolve when accessed with various user agents.PassIssueScreaming Frog CrawlConfiguration > User-Agenthttps://developers.google.com/webmasters/mobile-sites/mobile-seo/
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We haven't shown where we do and don't want content discovered or indexed.
PassCause
34
We don't have nofollow tags on links pointing to non-indexable content.PassIssueScreaming Frog Crawl
Configuration > Spider > Basic (uncheck Follow Internal "nofollow")
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86GHCVRReJs
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We have noindex tags on content we want in the index.PassIssueScreaming Frog Crawl
Configuration > Spider > Basic (uncheck Follow Internal "nofollow")
https://developers.google.com/webmasters/control-crawl-index/docs/robots_meta_tag?csw=1
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Our site doesn't respect mobile-first best practices
PassCause
37
We are missing links on our mobile site that are present on desktop.PassIssueScreaming Frog CrawlConfiguration > User-Agenthttps://developers.google.com/search/mobile-sites/mobile-first-indexing
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There is a technical reason indexed content doesn't rank for desired terms.
Fail
Outcome
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Our internal linking doesn't convey the relative importance of our content.
PassCause
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We use redirects that aren't 301s.PassIssueDeepCrawl
Indexation > Non-200 Status > Non-301 Redirects
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/93633
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We use JavaScript redirects.PassIssueManual Page Testinghttps://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/2721217
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We use meta refresh tags.PassIssueScreaming Frog CrawlMeta Refresh fieldhttps://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/79812
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We have redirect chains.PassIssueScreaming Frog CrawlReports > Redirect Chainshttps://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6033086
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We link more to inconsequential content than important organic content.
PassIssueScreaming Frog CrawlInlinks field
https://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2008/10/importance-of-link-architecture.html
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Our targeting elements don't help crawlers understand our content.
PassCause
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Title tags are longer than 60 characters.PassIssueDeepCrawl
Content > Titles & Descriptions > Max Title Length
http://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en//webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf
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Title tags are duplicated across pages.PassIssueDeepCrawl
Content > Titles & Descriptions > Pages with Duplicate Titles
http://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en//webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf
48
Title tags are missing.PassIssueDeepCrawl
Content > Titles & Descriptions > Missing Titles
http://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en//webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf
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H1 tags are duplicated across pages.PassIssueScreaming Frog CrawlH1 field (sort by)
http://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en//webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf
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H1 tags are missing.PassIssueDeepCrawl
Content > Body Content > Missing H1 Tags
http://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en//webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf
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Pages have multiple H1 tags.PassIssueDeepCrawl
Content > Body Content > Multiple H1 Tag Pages
http://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en//webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf
52
We haven't implemented bleeding-edge SEO best practices.
FailCause
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We don't use HTTPS.FailIssueScreaming Frog CrawlURL field
https://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2014/08/https-as-ranking-signal.html
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We are duplicating content that first appeared elsewhere.
PassCause
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Content is scraped from other sources.OKIssueManual Page TestingLMGTFYhttps://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/2721312
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The site is slow enough that Google would prefer not to show it to searchers.
PassCause
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Our site takes longer than 5 seconds to load.PassIssueChrome InspectorInspector > Networkhttps://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/
58
There is a technical reason site content isn't well-presented in search.
Pass
Outcome
59
We haven't indicated our preferred content.
PassCause
60
We don't use canonical tags to indicate pages we want ranking.PassIssueScreaming Frog CrawlCanonical fieldhttps://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/139066?hl=en
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We aren't showing the relative importance of our content through internal linking.
PassCause
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We link more to inconsequential content than important organic content.
PassIssueScreaming Frog CrawlInlinks field
https://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2008/10/importance-of-link-architecture.html
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There are problems with our schema markup.
PassCause
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Our schema markup is missing or incomplete.PassIssue
Structured Data Testing Tool
https://developers.google.com/structured-data/policies
65
Our schema markup is spammy.PassIssue
Structured Data Testing Tool
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/3498001?hl=en
66
We haven't signaled our international content.
PassCause
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We haven't implemented hreflang across localized sites.PassIssueDeepCrawl
Config > Hreflang > Pages without Hreflang Tags
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/189077?hl=en
68
We haven't linked to all localized content.PassIssueScreaming Frog CrawlURL field
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/182192?hl=en&ref_topic=2370587
69
We haven't set GSC region targeting to reflect regions we're targeting.PassIssueGoogle Search Console
Legacy tools > International targeting > Country
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/62399?hl=en
70
We're using URL parameters to distinguish localized content.PassIssueScreaming Frog CrawlURL field
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/182192?hl=en&ref_topic=2370587
71
We haven't signaled our mobile content.
PassCause
72
We're using dynamic serving but haven't implemented the Vary-HTTP header.
PassIssueDeepCrawl
Mobile > Categorization > Dynamically Served
https://developers.google.com/webmasters/mobile-sites/mobile-seo/dynamic-serving
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