A week ago we reported a significant drop in index counts within the Google Search Console Index Status reports. At first, I thought it was just a reporting glitch, because it simply impacted virtually every site I looked at (and I have tons of sites that people have shared with me in my Google Search Console account).
But I did ask Google and Google responded to me on Monday night about this saying this is not a bug, it is expected behavior. A Google spokesperson told me:
This change reflects a more accurate estimation of how many pages Google is indexing.
So I was about to write up that story at Search Engine Land yesterday and then I looked at the reports and they bounced back to normal levels. So is the new count a bug or the old count a bug? You can see why I am confused.
On August 16th, everything reported fine but then on August 23rd there was a dip across virtually everyone's index status report. Google tells me on August 31st that the change, the dip, reported on August 23rd was a "more accurate estimation of how many pages Google is indexing" and then on August 30th I noticed the reports jumped back to normal.
What is going on? Here are some charts from random sites in my Google Search Console account:
I, of course, emailed Google back and asked for more details, and I am awaiting a response.