Pages Dropping Out Of Google's Index With More Google Ranking Fluctuations?

Sep 30, 2020 - 8:10 am 153 by
Filed Under Google Updates

Google Index Gate Closed

This morning I am seeing a number of complaints around pages being dropped from Google's search index. This is coupled with a few of the automated tracking tools showing some ranking turbulence this morning in Google Search.

Just to catch you up, last week we saw some signs of a Google search ranking update on the 23rd. But it turns out, it may have been related to an unconfirmed Google canonical issue. FYI, Google asked you share examples with them so they can investigate.

Well, this morning there has been a number of complaints around Google de-indexing pages. It is super hard to know exactly what is going on without being given access to the details, but there is 100% a spike in complaints around indexing issues with Google as of this morning.

Let's start with the complaints on Twitter:

John Mueller of Google has replied to some asking for more details but did not confirm any issues:

And more canonical issues:

There are complaints in the SEO forums as well.

A Google Webmaster Help thread wrote:

Today I found out that the main page has disappeared from the index. The page has been in the top for more than 4 years, no prohibited methods were used,there were no alerts, no changes were made to the site either.Yesterday I filled out the questionnaire "Share your experience with Search Console Insights" and today the page is not in the index, and accordingly the drawdown of positions and traffic. Where to dig, what happened.

A Black Hat World thread:

My website ranking on 1st and 2nd page on Google search result but today I can see that suddenly my website home disappear from Google search result.

I tried to search with site: but not able to see my homepage. I checked all the technical SEO elements like sitemap, robots, webmaster but there is nothing to see.

The ongoing WebmasterWorld thread:

Your site is suffering from a Google bug which is deindexing old pages and not indexing new pages if memory serves me correct. If this is true, then pages not in Google's index will not appear in discover. If Google fixes the bug, and your pages are indexed again, I would expect discover traffic to not only rebound but rebound rather quickly if/when Google fixes the bug.

I'm not having any canonicalization issues that I can see...just hundreds and hundreds of garbage urls categorized in one way or another, while my correct urls are dropping or not getting indexed. But the canonicals being reported back in GSC are correct from what I see. Still having a big drop in USA traffic since Monday

And like I said, some of the tools are showing spikes and changes in Google Search:


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Cognitive SEO:

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Mozcast (added this at 1pm ET):

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I think we can agree that things are a bit unstable now at Google Search?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld and Twitter.

Update: Finally, after 10 days of complaining, Google has confirmed it:

Update 2: Google has now confirmed this as an indexing issue with mobile-indexing and canonicalization.


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