Last July, Google added a new feature to Webmaster Tools – Index Status. This feature helped webmasters better understand their site’s indexing, including what I considered as the most important feature, showing the pages that the algorithm overlooked.
As of yesterday, it seems that this feature has been turned off. Not Selected was a popular tool amongst technical SEOs that provided the benefit of knowing the exact moment a duplicate content issue or indexing issue occurred.
For example, if a site contains 10,000 total pages and the “Not Selected” URLs spikes to 100,000, then there’s an issue. It could be a plugin throwing hundreds of URLs, like the “?replytocom” variable in WordPress’ native comments function, or maybe you coded wrong, sending thousands of redirects without realizing it.
No matter, it seems this is no longer available for use and won’t be coming back. On Google’s product forum, a “top contributor” posted “whilst it was useful for some, it caused confusion to the majority of WMT users.”
The “Not Selected” feature was vastly underrated and an extremely powerful tool – I guess for those who apparently understood how to use it – and I always hoped for them to expand on the tool instead of remove it.
Since this isn’t coming back, I’ll be using Screaming Frog’s advanced features daily once again to identify duplicate content, URL variables and redirects.