Confirmed: Google Working On Google News Indexing Issue Impacting All Publishers

Jul 11, 2023 - 7:21 am 10 by

Journalists Investigating News

After hearing reports that the Google News team is working on fixing an issue, Google has confirmed it last night. Many publishers were either not showing up in Google News or had limited visibility in Google News over the past few weeks. Google confirmed this is an "ongoing issue with indexing in Google News that's affecting all sites."

Google posted, "There's an ongoing issue with indexing in Google News that's affecting all sites. Sites may be experiencing a decrease in traffic from Google News. We're working on identifying the root cause. Next update will be within 24 hours."

So this seems to be an "indexing" issues specific with Google News, and Google said "all sites." I did not notice it impacting the sites in Google News that I have Search Console access to.

I have updates to this story over here at the footer of this article.

A Google Product Expert posted an update in a Google News Publisher Help Thread saying, "They received reports on this issue and right now the team is working on it. It's a known issue that should gradually be fixed. Thanks for your patience and understanding while the issue is being worked on."

The issue was that starting around June 21st or so, some publishers saw their Google News traffic and visibility significantly drop. The thread has its first report a week or so after the issue began from a German publisher who said their Google News visibility was cut off on June 23rd.

Since then, dozens of other publishers reported the same issue.

Here are some traffic drop charts from the thread:

click for full size

click for full size

Here is a chart from Twitter:

click for full size

According to Will Flannigan, the SEO Editor at the Wall Street Journal, he said, it is "related to the Google News visibility issues that began in late June. Essentially, many news publishers saw their visibility tank. In the U.S., syndicated Yahoo content took its place, skyrocketing Yahoo's Google New visibility."

Will spotted this a few weeks ago, right when it was starting, here is his Twitter thread of the issue back then:

Then Google's John Mueller confirmed the issue last night:

Again, Google is now aware of the issue and working on a resolution.

Forum discussion at Google News Publisher Help Thread.

Updates Below Here

Update: 11 am, things are starting to improve:

Update 2: At 4:31 PM EDT on July 11th, Google posted an update saying they found the issue and are working on a fix. Google wrote, "We've identified the issue with indexing and have been working on a fix. Next update will be within 24 hours."

Update 3: On July 12th at 1:41 pm ET Google said they implemented a fix for the issue and will monitor the situation. Google wrote, "We've identified the issue with News indexing and have implemented a fix. We're monitoring the situation to confirm that this resolves the issue. Next update will be within 24 hours."

Update 4: Some publishers are seeing big improvements but not total improvements yet:

Update 5: At 2:01 am ET on July 14th Google posted the same update. Google wrote, "We've identified the issue with News indexing and have implemented a fix. We're monitoring the situation to confirm that this resolves the issue. Next update will be within 24 hours."

Update 6: Google's John Mueller said on Bluesky on July 14 at 6:30ish am, "It seems pretty fixed now, we're just a bit cautious about giving an early all-clear."

Bluesky John

Update 7: Google has finally confirmed the issue is fixed as of 5:06 pm ET on July 14th. Google wrote, "We fixed the issue with News indexing. There will be no more updates."

 

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