Google Previews Added To Google Webmaster Tools Crawl Errors

Jul 17, 2012 • 8:32 am | comments (6) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Webmaster ToolsIf you login to Google Webmaster Tools, then go to the crawl errors reports and place your mouse over one of the URLs listed in the report, a overlay will pop up with a preview.

This seems to be a new feature that I didn't notice being announced by Google yet. It seems to work best with soft 404s because often, real 404s do not have any real landing page (although they should).

Here is a screen shot:

Google Previews Added To Google Webmaster Tools Crawl Errors

Last week, Google added alerts for crawl errors but made no mention of this feature. Google is, however, constantly tweaking Google features on Google Webmaster Tools.

A WebmasterWorld thread is having discussion around this now. A user said:

Mouseover of each URL makes an immediate call to the site from IP 74.125.nnn.nnn with same or different IPs for each request, using user agent:

Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/536.8 (KHTML, like Gecko; Google Web Preview) Chrome/19.0.1084.36 Safari/536.8.

The referrer is each time.

Would this be useful for you? Maybe if Google showed you the specific part of the page with the error but with 404s, I am not sure if it makes sense?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Update: These preview links are now on all links within the tool.

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Praveen Sharma

07/17/2012 12:47 pm

I noticed it in the morning, but don't think its something which is advantageous to webmasters. May be different webmasters would have different views.


07/17/2012 01:44 pm

Thanks for update.

David Portney

07/17/2012 03:54 pm

I agree with you Praveen, this gets a yawn out of me.

Praveen Sharma

07/17/2012 05:10 pm

Exactly David, I don't see any point in having this mouse-over preview. Its one of the bizarre updates from Google.

SEO Generation

07/18/2012 02:59 pm

If there are all 404s, then it defeats the whole purpose of being a preview. Ideally you want to preview live pages ...

Richard Gailey

07/18/2012 11:26 pm

I noticed this yesterday, but honestly didn't think anything of it as I figured I had only just realised it was there. Incidentally, WordPress have been doing this for a while. However, they have been doing it on the section where you check for your spam via Askimet. If you hover your mouse over a website that they have included in their profile, it gives you a decent idea to see whether it's a spammy site or now.

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