Google URL Inspection Tool reference page not important

Google’s John Mueller said the URLs listed in the “referring page” section of the URL Inspection Tool aren’t really important. It is simply a technical element indicating which URL(s) Google discovered the page first. There is no indication of quality and not something to worry about, according to John.

The referring page can be found in Google Search Console’s URL Inspection Tool, under the “Coverage” section. Early last year, Google added several referral URLs to this report. Anyway, here’s a screenshot of that story and how Google found that page first – yes, via URL-shortening URLs that probably carry almost no signal.

click for actual size

John told the mark 30:35 in the video “the reference page in the inspection tool is sort of where we first saw mention of your pages.” He added “It’s not a sign that you have to make sure it was found on a very important part of your website first.”

Here is the embedded video where he said this:

Transcription:

When using the URL Inspection tool in Search Console on established highly visible pages, how worrying is it that the referring pages listed are long-abandoned microsite domains?

It wouldn’t bother me at all. So, in particular, the reference page in the inspection tool is sort of where we first saw mention of your pages. And if we first saw them on a random website, that’s where we saw them and that’s kind of what we’re listing here. It doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with these pages.

So from our perspective, it’s purely a technical thing, it’s like that’s where we found it. This is not a sign that you need to make sure it was found on a very important part of your website first. So if your pages are indexed, I think that’s the important part. I wouldn’t really worry about where they were first found.

There’s an ongoing discussion on Glenn’s Twitter feed about this, if you’re interested.

Discussion forum on Twitter.

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