The “not selected” filter within Google Webmaster Tool’s Index Status Report was confirmed removed by Google. To find out and confirm, open the Webmaster tools and navigate to the Index Status Report and click on the advance settings tab. Do you see the “not selected” option, which used to be there? And Google’s John Mueller mentioned that the removal of the said option was “causing more confusion than actually helping webmasters with their sites.”
Before its removal, the “not selected” option has been quite a controversial filter for a lot of webmasters. Some regard it as useful while others couldn’t comprehend to this day the filter’s variety of meanings. For some webmasters the ambiguous term could have helped determine a number of issues such as duplicate or thin content, duplicate URLs, a rel=”canonical” to another page, and a redirect to another page. A lot of webmasters consider this option as an effective tool to identify a number of crawl issues. And its removal is being lamented by webmasters through blogs.
It then causes one to doubt about the usefulness or non-usefulness of the “not selected” option. If it was confusing and not helping webmasters, why did it elicit negative reaction from the webmasters? Even John Mueller seemed to have contradicted his statement not so long ago, saying, “ the number of “not selected” URLs is based on URLs that are either substantially similar or re-directing, meaning, if you have changed your site’s URL structure and have redirected those URLs, that would be a good explanation for that. That curve would also be fine and not a signal of a problem”.
Said previous statement contradicts his recent statement about why the option was removed. The move came shortly after numerous reports of Google Webmaster Tools having issues with reporting the number of links pointing to a site.