The Google in-dexing Bug – What you Need to Know
Google, Security, SEO, Website Design

The Google in-dexing Bug – What you Need to Know

You may have noticed Search Engine Land alerted everyone about a recent Google in-dexing issue which caused thousands of pages to be dropped from the search index. About 4% of indexed pages were likely affected by Google’s de-indexing bug, as New Data from Moz found. The Google in-dexing trouble was brought to light after pages started dropping out of the Google index on Thursday 4th April. After six days of working to fully resolve the issue, it was finally reported to us by Google’s Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, that the problem was properly fixed.

How was it Reported?

On Friday 5th April Google confirmed a bug was causing pages to be de-indexed, after many website owners and the SEO community had reported pages falling out of the rankings.  

google in-dexing bug

This caused a flood of complaints as people noticed a significant chunk of their web pages were no longer showing up in the Google search results. No one knew why their pages were being removed, with no notification from Google. This had a negative impact on their sites’ traffic because those pages were no longer listed on Google’s index search results for relevant queries. It is unknown how much traffic site owners lost over this bug, with Google not releasing a figure.

What did Google tell us?

Google announced on Saturday morning the de-indexing issue was fully resolved, however it wasn’t. The following update was shared by John Mueller from Google, after many people still didn’t see any changes, who explained that there were still some pages that need to be reprocessed but it is taking longer than initially expected.

We were also told that you can use the Inspect URL and Submit to index feature in Google Search Console to expedite indexing of specific pages. In addition, he told us that even when it is fully resolved, you may not see all your pages because Google doesn’t always list 100% of a site’s pages in their index.

Finally Resolved!

Don’t worry, you can relax, Google announced on Wednesday 10th April that the de-indexing issue is finally fixed after it had been affecting websites for a whole week!

Check out their Tweet:

Why do I need to know?

As every site is impacted differently, it may be useful to check Google Search Console’s coverage report to see your indexed pages and how they may have changed. Since the Google de-indexing issue, you may have noticed a sudden loss in traffic, a loss in revenues, sales, conversion and overall metrics for your website. So it is important you resubmit your dropped URLs to the index into Google Search Console.

Will it happen again?

At the moment, indexing rates are back to normal, however there is no ruling out that it will happen again in the future. To prepare yourself in case the situation was to reoccur, t is worth reindexing in Google Search Console if you notice a sudden change with your URLs. Although there are daily limits in place, so only assess vital pages.