Submitted URL marked ‘noindex’: what does it mean and how to fix?

Last updated: September 1, 2020

“Submitted URL marked ‘noindex’” indicates that Google found URLs in your XML sitemap that have been marked as noindex, resulting in Google not indexing this URL as they often follow these robots directives.

By feeding non-indexable URLs to search engines, you’re sending conflicting them signals which leads to crawl budget waste.

How to fix “Submitted URL marked ‘noindex’”

Verify status

Go through the list of pages from the report and verify whether these pages are still listed in the XML sitemp and whether they are marked as noindex. Clear your site’s cache to make sure you’re looking at the latest version of your site.

If it’s just a handful of URLs, you can do it manually. If it’s more, we highly recommend plugging your site into ContentKing to let our platform do the heavily lifting and to keep an eye on this moving forward.

Pro tip

Keep in mind that you can define the robots directives through the HTTP Header, using the X-Robots-Tag. The X-Robots-Tag is often used on staging environments, and is easy to miss.

Fixing this issue

You’ll end up with the following possible outcomes:

  1. Pages are correctly marked noindex, and incorrectly included in the XML sitemap: remove these pages from the XML sitemap.
  2. Pages are incorrectly marked noindex, and included in the XML sitemap: update their indexability status, and you’re good.

The next step is to use Google Search Console’s URL Inspection Tool to verify if you’ve fixed the issue correctly. After you’ve done so, request reindexing through Google Search Console to speed up the recrawling and reindexing process.

This video explains how to the URL Inspection Tools works in detail:

Fixing this on WordPress

Most of WordPress’s SEO plugins like Yoast and Rank Math will automatically take out non-indexable pages from the XML sitemap. Just keep in mind that the noindex tag may be defined at an HTTP Header level, which is managed outside of WordPress on the web server level.

Fixing this on Shopify

If you’re looking to fix this for products, you can use Shopify’s Bulk Editor to mark products as “hidden” — which automatically adds a noindex meta tag and removes the products from the XML sitemap.

Alternatively, you can use an app like Sitemap & NoIndex Manager. This app also supports defining it for other content types.

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Read the full Academy article to learn everything about Google Search Console Index Coverage report

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