Google Removes "Not Selected" Within Google Webmaster Tools Index Status

Feb 8, 2013 • 8:42 am | comments (13) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Webmaster ToolsIf you login to your Google Webmaster Tools and go to the Index status report, then click on advanced, you will see Google removed the "not selected" option from the report.

Not selected was a very intriguing option within the report. We've talked about how you can use not selected in the past, in fact, Google's John Mueller said it is useful in that:

The number of "not selected" URLs is based on URLs that are either substantially similar or redirecting -- if you have changed your site's URL structure and have redirected those URLs, then that would be a good explanation for that. That curve would also be fine and not a signal of a problem.

Google Replaces

Why did Google replace it? Google has not said why yet. There are threads in WebmasterWorld and Google Webmaster Help but no response from an official Googler yet.

Most webmasters probably have never used the feature but many did find it useful.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld and Google Webmaster Help.

Confirmed: John Mueller of Google responded to my question on Google+ confirming it was pulled. He said:

Yep, this was removed on purpose since it was causing more confusion than actually helping webmasters with their sites.

Previous story: Does Google Update Their AdSense Algorithm?


Jeff Smith

02/08/2013 01:59 pm

It looks like blocked by robots.txt was already an option. They didn't replace anything, just removed that bit of info.

Barry Schwartz

02/08/2013 02:07 pm

Actually, typo, it is replaced by "removed".


02/08/2013 02:08 pm

Perhaps he meant "Removed"? *shrugs* Good catch.

Chris Gedge

02/08/2013 02:41 pm

"Removed" has always been there....

Barry Schwartz

02/08/2013 02:43 pm

I'll update my story. Sorry for the mistake.

Chris Gedge

02/08/2013 02:55 pm

Cool. I always thought that the "not selected" feature was vastly underrated and really powerful at displaying if you had a thin/dupe content issue.

Mark Hannant

02/08/2013 03:03 pm

Jonn Mueller commented on a discussion via another SEO on Google+ yesterday. He stated that "not selected" provided little value and was confusing to webmasters. There was also technical inaccuracies regarding reported numbers calculated due to issues with crawling and canonical references. Unfortunately that thread's been deleted now.

Barry Schwartz

02/08/2013 03:05 pm

Have a URL to it?

Mark Hannant

02/08/2013 03:12 pm

Oh it is still live. I've found it.

Barry Schwartz

02/08/2013 03:13 pm

Thanks, but he didn't say it has little value. In that case, it may have not had value. Plus, he didn't comment on why it was removed. He just answered a question about why the numbers were possible off.

Mark Hannant

02/08/2013 03:26 pm

Depends how you interpret "it wasn't providing much value". It was providing value to me.

Rank Watch

02/10/2013 07:33 pm

"Not Selected" feature certainly would have helped webmasters to find atleast some duplicate or near duplicates pages on the site and in fact was a good feature which Google removed unnecessarily.

Michael Zittel

02/25/2013 04:41 pm

Bummer. I found the "not selected" data very useful in discovering, removing duplicate content caused by a variety of cms systems such as Joomla, Wordpress and custom solutions on apex, etc. Often, I'm brought in after development and that data was useful in convincing owners to make changes.

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