Shopify - Web Pixels Manager Sandbox FAQ

Community Moderator
Community Moderator

Summary of Events

Beginning in January of 2023, some merchants reported seeing a large amount of web pixel URLs being indexed in their Google Search Console. Our team reviewed the issue and searched for “web pixel manager sandbox” in Google. We confirmed that the URL of the iframe sandbox was being indexed and started working on a resolution. As a result, we partially mitigated the issue by 404-ing the old web-pixel-manager paths that were previously indexed, preventing the new path from being indexed. 


Solution Moving Forward

We have created a solution to stop the crawlers from executing the JavaScript preventing pixel URLs from being crawled. This solution will help solve the issues our merchants are facing as outlined below:


  • New pixel URLs should not show up in merchant’s GSC reports
  • Merchant Google Search Console noindex reports should clear after a few months, (we are unable to offer a specific timeframe) as no new pixel URLs should be added. 
  • Merchant Google Search Console 404 reports will temporarily increase as the old pixel URLs that were noindexed will transition to 410s. After several months (we are unable to offer a specific timeframe), the 404 report should also start clearing.


Merchant SEO Concerns and FAQ


Do the 404’d and noindexed pixel URLs affect search engine crawling and crawl budget?

Google has confirmed to us that these 404 and noindex pages will not affect your crawl budget or Google’s crawl effectiveness of your store.


How long does it take for the old pixel URLs to drop from the Google index?

It depends on how many old pixel pages were indexed and the frequency of Google’s crawling of your store. For a site with many old indexed pixel pages with low frequency crawl rate, it could take months for these pages to drop from the index.


Is Shopify still linking to the old URLs that are now 404ing?

No, the old /web-pixels-manager/ URLs are no longer being used and are not linked anywhere from your site. These pages are now orphaned URLs that no longer exist anywhere.


Should you redirect all the 404s to other pages?

No, these old pixel pages no longer exist and were of no value to Google. These URLs should remain 404’d. See Google’s official documentation on 404s.


Do the old 404’d pixel URLs affect search engine rank and traffic performance?

No, the 404s will not hurt your SEO performance. The pixel pages are of no value to search engines and they are not linked in any way from your store website. See Google’s official documentation on 404s.


Do the current noindexed pixel URLs affect search engine rank and traffic performance?

No. See Google’s official documentation on noindex and comments from representatives here.


Should you add a robots.txt rule to block crawling of the pixel URLs?

No, blocking the URLs via a robots.txt disallow rule may prevent search engines from seeing the noindex header for the pixels pages, along with flooding your “content blocked via robots.txt” GSC report.


Is there a way to clear the 404 and noindex reports in GSC?

At the moment there is no way to clear these URLs from your reports. A workaround is choosing “Select all submitted pages” from the top left dropdown menu when viewing these GSC reports instead of “All known pages”. That will filter the reports to only use URLs in your sitemap.


Should you change domains as a method of clearing the GSC reports?

No, migrating your store to a new domain is strongly not recommended since it could cause great disruption in your store’s SEO performance.


Why has my Google SEO changed/faltered recently, in general?

With the understanding that the 404ing and noindexed URLs as confirmed by Google are not harming SEO performance, we would suggest reading up on the 6 major Google algorithm updates released since the pixel URLs were introduced. Following this link you can learn more about each update, how it may be affecting your store, and what you can do to improve SEO performance.

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