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Google Confirms Indexing Outages

Last week, Google announced on Twitter that it was dealing with a pair of indexing issues, confirming what eagle-eyed SEOs had suspected for several days. Both Search Engine Land and Search Engine Journal covered the issue prior to Google’s confirmation after search managers reported that their sites had been de-indexed. There’s no greater fear as an SEO agency than seeing your client’s site suddenly disappear from search results.

“We are currently working to resolve two separate indexing issues that have impacted some URLs,” the search engine said through @searchliaison, one of its Twitter accounts. “One is with mobile-indexing. The other is with canonicalization, how we detect and handle duplicate content. In either case, pages might not be indexed….”

“If a previously indexed page has gone, it might be the mobile-indexing issue, where we’re failing to select any page at all to index,” the thread continued. “If the canonical issue is involved, URL Inspector may show the URL as a duplicate & the Google-selected canonical will be different from it….”

Search Engine Land first started hearing ‘unconfirmed cases of indexing issues around URLs that seem to be dropping out of the Google index’ around the 22nd or 23rd of September.

“Many of you have been scratching your heads since September 23rd around these changes in Google search,” wrote Contributing Editor Barry Schwartz in an October 1 article. “Now you know, it may have just been a bug with Google and your rankings and traffic will hopefully return when Google resolves the issue.”

The good news, in other words, is that if your site suddenly disappeared from search results, it likely wasn’t due to a penalization. The bad news is there’s little site owners or their SEO agency can do to rectify the situation.

“There’s no action to take with these issues on the part of site owners,” reads the third post in @searchliaison’s thread. “We apologize for the issues here and are working rapidly to resolve them. We’ll update this thread as each is corrected.”

As a Google Premier Partner search engine marketing and SEO agency, GrowthEngine Media understands the significant impacts that minor changes in Google’s ranking algorithm can have on business performance. To discuss your search strategy, feel free to reach out today.


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