Lighthouse CLI tool version and user agent on Chrome can vary on version 2.92

The Lighthouse tool and a user agent on Chrome, Chrome canary & the Command line interface (CLI) will differ, and the outcome may differ somewhat. Until Lighthouse version 2.9.2, robots.txt files weren’t reviewed.

A local web developer from Stoneycroft was having some issue with Google Light House CLI

When they were using the lighthouse command-line interface and chrome lighthouse tool version Whitehouse 2.9.40.

The site was being blocked on the CLI but not on the Chrome extension

It said the page is blocked from indexing robots.txt but the chrome lighthouse tool which is 2.8 using an emulated Nexus 5x user account says it is fine and can be indexed.

After doing some research on the Google Lighthouse CLI it appears that version 2.8 of the crime extension did not check the robots.txt file. They weren’t checked until version 2.9.2 which is why they were seeing it pass in 2.8

Lighthouse CLI 1

Josh Morley

I have been designing & marketing websites since 2013. I specialize not just in WordPress web design but also in online marketing. SEO, PPC, keyword research, link-building and most recently on lead acquisition for local businesses.

Keyword Rank Checker

This week we were in Lady Green speaking to someone who was learning SEO.

He was discussing some of the paid ranking tools and how overwhelming they are and we suggest stripping everything back so that they understood the theory before jumping into a full-fledged tool.

If you are just getting started in SEO, only tracking a few keywords for a small site you may want to start with Google sheets – rank google checker. This will allow you to track your keyword rankings over time without any fancy software.

There are many other options around but sometimes the number of options that these tools have can confuse an SEO newcomer.

First, you need to create a new sheet and title it whatever you want.

Next, in cell A1 type “Keyword” (without the quotations). This is going to be our first column header.

Now, in cell B1 type “Rank” (again, without the quotations). This is going to be our second column header.

In the cells below these headers (A2 and B2), start typing in the keywords that you want to track. For this example, we’ll use “SEO tips”, “SEO tools”, and “SEO trends”.

Once you have your keywords entered, it’s time to set up the SERP tracker information.

There are many tools that can automate this but sometimes it’s good to strip everything back.

Google Search Console

If the Google search console is set up (previously Google webmaster tools), then select your website and click on search traffic performance to see your website’s search results and check google position by keywords.

From here you can select the pages, devices, queries (and check google rankings in each) etc that you want to track SERPS for.

For this example, we will just look at desktop results in the UK for the query “SEO tips” (google position keyword)

After this, we can set the date range as this week, last month or over a 3-month aggregate.

Once you have this data you can plug it into the spreadsheet.

You can even dill down on a page or blog post and check google’s position for a keyword or check a website’s position on a keyword as a whole.

Continue to add columns for each day, week or month. As you enter this data in you will start to understand it more and when you are ready can take the plugin into a paid tool.

You can also use the export tool if you want to save a bit of time.

Google Ranking with Incognito

If you don’t have Google Seach Console as it’s not set up or you are looking at a competitor’s site you can use Google incognito window. It’s not perfect but will give you an average idea of their rankings by looking at their search engine results pages.

Google Keyword Position Checker

To do this open a new window in Chrome and go to File > New Incognito Window.

Then Google the selected keywords and enter the data into the spreadsheet.

Tracking with Google Sheets is it worth it?

There are plenty of paid tools out there that will do all this for you but if you want to track your rankings in Google for free then using Google Sheets is a great way to do it.

However, a paid tool can track so many different metrics and data we only suggest using this manual method as you are learning or for personal projects.

Just like the new investor paper trades the stock market to learn how it works; as you are learning SEO you can track your rankings on Google using this method.

Need Help Tracking Rankings?

SEO always starts with understanding where you are today so that you can make a plan to get where you want to be. If your struggling to get a handle on your data and need some one-off or ongoing support feel free to reach out to us.

Josh Morley

I have been designing & marketing websites since 2013. I specialize not just in WordPress web design but also in online marketing. SEO, PPC, keyword research, link-building and most recently on lead acquisition for local businesses.

Google tag manager causing redirect chains included ums adtechus com

A new client messaged us in West Kirby about a problem they were seeing on their site. They put the site into Pingdom & GT Metrix and found that they keep seeing the same error causing seed issues.

Remove the following redirect chain if possible

They were getting this error as a number of 3rd party software they placed within their Google Tag Manager container was redirecting cause an error and the site to slow down.

They had the following 3rd party scrips

 https://ums.adtechus.com – ONE Ad Server by AOL: Publishers is a simple, unified programmatic solution designed to help publishers maximize monetization across every format and channel.

https://loadeu.exelator.com – Possible Malware

https://x.bidswitch.net – BidSwitch is a middleware that allows connected programmatic partners to seamlessly access new platforms and services to optimise their performance.

https://d.adroll.com/cm/r/ou – AdRoll provides the platform, performance and professional service that grows your revenue. Automatically create dynamic display, social & native ads from your product feeds.

https://getrockerbox.com/ – Rockerbox centralizes all of your marketing spend and campaigns

https://analytics.ccgateway.net – analytics software

https://d.adroll.com/cm/outbrain/out – Outbrain is the technology company powering the discovery feeds on your favorite media.

https://d.adroll.com/cm/pubmatic/out – PubMatic is a digital advertising technology company who empowers premium app developers and publishers to maximize their programmatic advertising business.

https://d.adroll.com/cm/taboola/out – Taboola is the world’s leading discovery & native advertising platform that helps people explore what’s interesting and new in the moment of next.

https://d.adroll.com/pixel/ – More adverts

https://secure.adnxs.com/seg – Adnxs.com is run by AppNexus, a company that provides technology, data and analytics to help companies buy and sell online display adverts

How to remove/fix the URL chain?

The first thing to do is find out what each script does and then look at removing anything that is not needed. Also, you may use tag filters to prevent tags from popping up where they aren’t needed.

For example, you may only display certain display adverts on certain pages you can stop loading the script where its not needed.

If all of the tags are needed then it might be worth reaching out to the third party to see if they can reduce the amount of redirects

If you are having issues with Google indexing or seeing the “Indexed, though blocked by robots.txt” warning on your site feel free to reach out to us and we would be happy to help!

Josh Morley

I have been designing & marketing websites since 2013. I specialize not just in WordPress web design but also in online marketing. SEO, PPC, keyword research, link-building and most recently on lead acquisition for local businesses.

“Indexed, though blocked by robots.txt” Warnings in Google Search Console?

A new client messaged us in Great Crosby about a problem they were seeing on their site. They had a pretty large site with over 2000 pages and none of them had been receiving traffic. When they checked Google Search Console they saw the warning indexed though blocked by robots txt. Along with some supporting information

The majority of these pages are filter parameters, these pages are mostly:

  • blocked within the robots.txt
  • have a “noindex” tag on the page
  • Canonical to the master URL
  • Are NOT included within the sitemap
  • Are blocked using the GSC Parameter tool

Scary Warning

It’s a scary issue when you see this in Google Search Console for the first time. You think you have been hit by a Google penalty and that all your traffic will disappear. But, luckily, its usually not that serious. In most cases, it can be fixed pretty easily.

If you see this message in Google Search Console, something on your site or server is blocking Google from reading and indexing the site properly. This can be caused by a few different things:

1. Your robots.txt file is blocking Google from indexing your site

2. You have a “noindex” tag on your pages

3. Your pages are canonicalized to the wrong URL

4. Your pages are not included in your sitemap

5. JS conflict issues

6. Canonical issues

Try to find out when this happened.

If you have just launched the website then it might be as simple as clicking a button to turn off the no index setting.

Maybe it just happened, then we would suggest looking over any changes to the site no matter how small.

Things like:

  • Adding plugins
  • Updating plugins
  • Changing themes
  • Changing server (even if it’s just an upgrade)

If you are having issues with Google indexing or seeing the “Indexed, though blocked by robots.txt” warning on your site feel free to reach out to us and we would be happy to help!

Josh Morley

I have been designing & marketing websites since 2013. I specialize not just in WordPress web design but also in online marketing. SEO, PPC, keyword research, link-building and most recently on lead acquisition for local businesses.

Recently a client in Crosby messaged us about JS and how it could/is affecting his SEO. This is a common question and one that can be easily remedied. It is a question we get every now and again.

GoogleBot is the web crawler used by Google to discover and index new content.

It’s important to note that Googlebot cannot execute JavaScript.

So if your site is not rendering content but relying on JS you could face issues.

Check Server Side Rendering

Making sure Google can read and understand your site is extremely important in your SEO planning and should influence how you choose a theme or template for your website.

If you’re not sure how to check if your site is being rendered server-side or client-side, there are a few things you can look for. There are a few ways to check if .js is rendered server-side or client-side.

View Source

One way is to look at the source code of the page.

You can quickly do this To do this, copy a piece of text from the webpage as you see it in the browser and then open “view source” and search for that phrase.

If you can see the text in “view source,” the page does not rely on JavaScript to generate that text.

If the .js is included in the source code, then it is likely being rendered server-side. Another way to check is to use a tool like the Web Developer Tool

Disable JS

Another way to check how much Js your theme or website is using is to If your server-side rendering is working correctly and there are no JS errors in the browser, your server-side rendering is functioning properly. The tracking may not function as intended, however.

Modern Themes

However most of the time and with most modern themes there is not need to check this the in-line script or JS library that the browser must call will be client-side. You may monitor how it is loaded and executed with a variety of tools. Chrome Dev tools (network tab) and Webpagetest.org.

Overall

If the 2000+ websites we have worked with there has only been one site that had a problem with indexing after some JS changes. Nearly all modern themes take this into account and so should be an issue.

If you are having js issues or if js is affecting how Google is indexing your site feel free to reach out to us and we would be happy to help!

Josh Morley

I have been designing & marketing websites since 2013. I specialize not just in WordPress web design but also in online marketing. SEO, PPC, keyword research, link-building and most recently on lead acquisition for local businesses.