After much confusion amongst webmasters and SEO professionals, who were seeing pages dropping off the face of Google altogether, Google confirmed that a de-indexing bug was occurring!
How bad did it get?
A shocking 4% of indexed traffic was thought to have been affected!
And of course, this could mean that some sites may have seen 0% of their URLs impacted and some sites may have seen 50% of their URLs impacted!
As you can see in this graph put together by Moz of stable URLs, the purple line represents the normal trend, and the blue line is how it deviated firstly on April 5th by 4%, then going back to normal, and then again on April 7th dropping by 4.4%!
Moz even tested out what they call the big three; Facebook, Amazon and Wikipedia to see if this bug had ‘touched’ them.
And as you can see on the graph it would seem that they were also not immune to the bug!
This would play into the idea that this bug really did affect a wide range of sites, there was no specific rhyme or reason to it!
What can we do?
Simply put there isn’t much that can be done, Google has said the issue has now been resolved.
You can check on your search console coverage report to see how your site has been affected which looks like this:
And you can then manually re-index any pages that haven’t been indexed (you have a daily limit so focus on the most useful pages).
Do this by:
- Going to URL inspection
- When a URL says ‘URL is not on Google’ click REQUEST INDEXING
- Google will then test whether said URL can be indexed, this can take a minute or two, and will then confirm by saying ‘INDEXING REQUESTED’
- Check back over the next few days to see whether it now says ‘URL is on Google’.
Google reported that currently, the readings on Google Search Console for the indexing reports etc may not be accurate. This is while Google Search Console is recovering from the bug. Therefore take anything you see on there over the next few days with a pinch of salt! Of course, this isn’t the end of the world and Google will rectify any issues, so there’s no need to panic if your stats are looking a little haywire!