How can 500 error codes affect Google indexing?

Posted on August 18, 2021


Google’s John Mueller has explained how 500 error codes can affect Google’s indexing of your website on a recent Google SEO office-hours Q&A session. In the following sections, we’ll explore what a 500 error is and how it can impact the search engine optimisation (SEO) of your website.

What is a 500 error?

A 500 error code is an internal server error that tells you that the URL you have visited can’t be loaded, and therefore you can’t access the specific page. This can be an issue if Google can’t crawl your website, as it will not be able to index your site on the search engine.

How does a 500 error affect your SEO?

According to Mueller, when Google is crawling a website to index it, and it comes across a 500 error, the crawler will firstly retry crawling the URL again, in case the 500 error was a one-off occurrence. If the crawler gets another 500 error, Google will reduce the crawling of this URL, just in case the crawler is causing the server to overload. If the crawler continues to get a 500 error, it will drop the URL from the Google index.

How can you monitor 500 errors?

The easiest way for you to monitor 500 errors is to go to Google Search Console. The “Coverage” section lists the URLs that the search engine has found to have a 500 error. The image below reveals how Google presents this information:

Here at Engage Web, we offer website support packages that can ensure any 500 errors are addressed so they don’t negatively affect your site’s SEO. In addition, we offer SEO services to help increase the number of visitors you have to your website. Have a chat with our friendly team today to find out more.


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