Search Console crawl error: Submitted URL marked ‘noindex’

In this article, we’ll take a look at the Google Search Console error Submitted URL marked ‘noindex’. What does that mean and how can you fix it?

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What does the error mean?

The word ‘error’ indicates that this page is not indexed. In other words, Google tried to index your page, but couldn’t. How come? Well, on the one hand, ‘submitted URL’ indicates that you submitted the page for indexing. That means that the URL is listed in a sitemap. However, on the other hand, something on the page is telling Googlebot not to index the page. That could either be a noindex meta tag in the page’s source code or an X-Robots-Tag HTTP header. As a result, the page will not show in the search results.

How to fix the ‘submitted URL marked noindex’ error

Depending on what you want, there are different ways to deal with this error:

  • If you want Google to crawl and index your page, then you must either:
    • remove the meta tag: This is really easy if you use Yoast SEO. This article explains exactly which steps you should take. No need for coding skills. If however, you do need or want to find the meta tag in the source code of the page, search for something that looks like this: <meta name="robots" content="noindex">
    • or modify the X-Robots-Tag HTTP header: Check your HTTP headers for a noindex or noarchive or other negative header. That could look like this: X-Robots-Tag: noindex. You can modify the X-Robots-Tag using .htaccess and httpd.conf files that are available by default on Apache based web servers. Find out how here. Joost wrote about the X-Robots-Tag HTTP header as well, so if you’re into the technical stuff, read this post.
  • If you don’t want Google to index your page, you should remove the URL from your sitemap. Google will notice the changes when it visits your site again. If you don’t want to wait until Google’s next visit, you can also resubmit the edited sitemap in the Sitemaps report of Google Search Console. Are you new to Google Search Console? Then please read this beginner’s guide first.
  • If you don’t want Google to index your page, you could also check your Sitemaps report and delete any sitemaps that contain the URL of the page. In addition, make sure that no sitemaps listed in your robots.txt file include this URL.

Ask Google to reindex your page

Once you’ve solved the problem, you can use the URL inspection tool in Google Search Console to check whether the error is really gone. This Google Webmasters video explains how to do that. If the noindex directive is indeed gone, you can ask Google to reindex your page, by clicking ‘Request Indexing’. This is also shown in the video.