What’s going on in Google? The search engine has been severely playing with the SEOs nerves lately! You have probably noticed several indexing problems between April and May which have impacted thousands of websites across the world. We have counted 5 major problems and here is a little recap of this SEO nightmare.
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1 – April 7th-11th: Where has my page gone?
April 7th, many SEO experts realized that their websites had been simply deindexed. Vanished. Banished from the SERPs. According to Moz, about 4% of indexed pages were likely affected. While the indexing issues was resolved on April 11th, the Search Console was still recovering on April 15th. It turned out that the Google Search Console lost data from April 9th to April 25th for all reports excluding the performance report.
- Dates: April 7th-11th
- Symptoms: Pages and websites missing from SERPs, data missing from Google Search Console
- Affected: an estimated 4% of indexed pages
2 – April 16th: Google News stopped indexing fresh content
On April 16th, many publishers were removed from Google’s News carousels. Google said that this indexing problem was not related to the previous one. The issue was only affecting content published within the last 24 hours or so. Almost 1 week later, Google announced that the bug was fixed and that the content missed during the issue had been reindexed. They didn’t provide any information about the origin of the bug.
- Dates: April 16th
- Symptoms: no new stories in Google News carousels
- Affected: news and media publishers
3 – April 25th: Canonicals & breadcrumbs issues
On April 25th, Google experienced an issue where they had selected unrelated canonical URLs. In turn, breadcrumb trails on mobile reflected these unrelated URLs. The indexation of some websites was impacted and Google never really clarified the situation.
- Dates: April 25th
- Symptoms: Pages missing from SERPs, mobile breadcrumb trails from other sites displayed in SERPs
- Affected: mobile SERPs, pages with breadcrumb Schema.org markup
4 – May 22nd: Google stopped indexing all fresh content (again)
On May 22, Google confirmed an issue preventing any new content from being indexed. The Google Search Console indicated that the URL was indexed while it was not at all in reality. Fortunately the bug was resolved within the day and fresh content was instantly back in the SERPs!
- Dates: May 22nd
- Symptoms: new content missing from SERPs, conflicts between Search Console and SERPs
- Affected: new pages
5 – May 23rd-26th: New unrelated indexing issue impacting fresh content
On May 23rd, Google announced an indexing issue which was unrelated to the previous one – one day before. This new announcement generated of serie of reactions on Twitter among the SEO community. According to Danny Sullivan this issue impacted fresh content picking but was completely different from the May 22nd issue.
- Dates: May 23rd-26th
- Symptoms: new content missing from SERPs
- Affected: new pages