If you run a website or blog and have a moderately high number of visits, then you may have noticed that you are not getting the traffic you anticipated from Google. What seems to be happening is that your pages are not getting indexed properly. This is true for a number of reasons, including that your pages aren’t configured correctly, you may have a lot of duplicate content on your site, or your content isn’t being crawled by Google properly.
When most people think about search engines, they usually think they are a very useful tool. Google in particular is always on the minds of millions of people. For Google, search is the number one driver of revenue. They make money from searches performed on their platform. That’s why they want you to visit your website.
Being indexed by Google is a sign of quality. In today’s world, it’s not unusual for a website to be ranked on the top of the search engine result page (SERP) by using its keywords. The purpose of SEO is to ensure that your content is the highest quality. In the case of websites, the core content is the pages that are indexed by Google.
Google is currently struggling with serious indexing issues that are affecting countless businesses around the world. Despite official statements that the indexing problems have been resolved, the problems seem to persist. With great power comes great responsibility. So we can only hope that these problems will be solved as soon as possible for all webmasters and business owners who are already facing a difficult year for their business. Google is without a doubt one of the largest and most obvious monopolies in the world. Bing, the closest competitor in search, has only a 2% market share, which is not a significant threat to Google’s 90%. So what happens when Google’s SERPs don’t work properly? Let’s see.
Google indexing problem – confirmed 1. October 2020
It all started in late September, when a number of complaints surfaced about sites disappearing from Google’s search index. Many people have started reporting index coverage issues and crawl errors on forums, Facebook groups, etc. Twitter, as usual, is the most popular channel for these types of questions, as it is the only place where there is a chance that a Google employee will actually answer the question. In this case, the same thing happened, except that this time Google spokesman John Mueller was unaware of the problem, as the screenshot below shows. This of course leaves room for speculation, but we prefer to keep these thoughts to ourselves and present only the facts for now. There have been many other discussions on this topic, including in Search Console Help and Black Hat World. Below you can get an idea of the sentiment on Twitter about this. On 1. October, 24 hours later, Google officially announced that there were indexing issues and that they were working to fix them. We are currently resolving two separate indexing issues that have affected some URLs. One is mobile indexing. Something else is canonicalization, the way we recognize and address duplicate content. Pages may not have been indexed yet…. – Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) October 1, 2020 Over the next three weeks they continued to report on problems and how they had solved them. The most important recent updates on this topic are as follows:
- 9. October: The mobile indexing issue was resolved yesterday, with about 99% of URLs restored.
- 20. October: The canonicity issue was effectively resolved last Wednesday (October 14), with about 99% of URLs restored. We expect the remaining extreme versions to be fixed within a week or two.
Meanwhile, Google’s communications revolve around news like this: The owners of the site are taking no action against these problems. We apologize for any problems encountered and are working quickly to resolve them. We will update this thread as we resolve each issue. It may take a few days to fix both issues, but we have already fixed many URLs and are working to speed up the process. All is well in the Hood, you say. Google had a bug that they fixed three weeks later. That’s not quite right. Apart from the fact that three weeks in which no new content is indexed or old content is de-indexed is a very long time by Internet standards, the problem persists, as several webmasters have reported. We have two examples that confirm that the issue is not out of reach. I don’t know if you know this, but the same team that created cognitiveSEO also created the brand monitoring tool BrandMentions.com. Both examples are taken from this page. The first is a really cool survey on the best time to post on Instagram (I may be subjective here, but you can check out the survey to see for yourself). It doesn’t look like the URL has a crawling problem, but Google isn’t indexing it. It is a single content with no special instructions (it has noindex directive). The article was published on the 13th. October on the BrandMentions blog. I don’t think this is the disaster of Tuesday the 13th. Most likely, Google failed to fix the problem for 99% of URLs, as it had announced. And yes, it is possible that the article is part of those 1% uncorrected URLs. But this is not the only example. The second example is a site that provides information on brand tracking and is also part of brandmentions.com. This time the page seemed to be explored (the same unfortunate Tuesday the 13th), but today, the 20th. October, it’s not showing up in the SERPs. Of course, we hope that things will change and that by the time you read this article, the site will already be indexed and properly ranked. Nevertheless, Google’s indexing problem still seems to exist at this stage.
What’s the problem with Google’s canonicalization
Google said so in a tweet on the 2nd. October that […] When the question of canonicity is asked, the URL inspector may show the URL as a duplicate, and the canonical URL that Google has selected will be different. The canonical problem involved about 0.02% of our index of 20. September to yesterday afternoon, around 4:30pm PST. Since then, we have fixed about 10% of these URLs and continue to work on the rest. What does that mean? This has something to do with the problem of duplicate content. Suppose you publish a new article and shortly thereafter the scraper copies your entire article and publishes the exact same thing. A canonical tag added to your website tells Google that your article is the original and should be ranked first. Basically, you can say Google: Display this page instead of this one. So if page B is ranked for a certain keyword, you can ask Google to display page A instead. However, when the issue of canonization arose, Google began displaying syndicated content (which is a copy of the original) instead of the original content. Canonical tags are Google’s recommendation for different situations, as you can see on their page or in the image below. There are billions of websites, and it’s Google’s job to rank them. Ideally, all sites should have unique pages. Each page must contain original content. Double pages are actually much more common than you think. So Google scans your site and finds 3 pages trying to rank for the same keyword. Google not only has to choose between billions of different websites, but also between duplicate pages on the same website. This sounds complicated, which is why the canonical tag exists, to tell Google that it’s the original part that should be ranked. And when a problem of this magnitude arises, we realize how important it is that the search engine does its job properly and that webmasters have configured everything correctly. Yes, it seems that even if everything goes well on your end, problems can still arise. By the time you read this article, these problems should no longer occur, as Google has stated that they have been resolved. Given the current situation and the fact that webmasters keep complaining about it, we should hope for the best and expect the worst.
What’s wrong with Google’s mobile indexing
Due to the mobile indexing problem, new websites take a long time to be indexed and do not appear in the Google index. Some recently published documents have not yet been indexed. Even large sites suffer from these problems. Here are some screenshots taken by Ewdison Then. He reported the problem on September 29 because he found it very strange that all these sites that publish news every few minutes had not indexed anything in the past hour. Google said that if a previously indexed page disappeared, it could be a mobile indexing problem where we can’t choose which page to index. As you can see in the screenshots above, many webmasters have complained that they just disappeared from the index. As you can see in the screenshot below, Google said that only a few websites (about 0.2%) were affected by the problem. This may not seem like much, but remember that Google’s index is huge, and 0.2% of that index is still a significant number. Google’s search index contains hundreds of billions of web pages and is over 100,000,000 gigabytes in size. So 0.2% of this huge amount of data doesn’t seem like such a small percentage anymore. According to Google, the mobile indexing issue was fixed first, almost two weeks before the canonicalization issue. Nevertheless, we hope that this problem will not arise in the future, as it has a great impact on people’s research and business. Google has had an indexing problem in the past. Last year, for example, there was a similar problem where people from all walks of life and from all countries had problems with indexation. Let’s hope that this time the bug is fixed for good and such problems will not occur again. We are aware of the indexing issues that some sites have been experiencing since Friday. We believe that these problems have been largely resolved and do not require much effort on the part of site operators. We will provide a new update when the issues are considered fully resolved. – Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) April 7, 2019.
How Google’s indexing problem affects your business
The short answer to this question is: BIG TIME. Home pages, articles, product pages were suddenly no longer indexed. Imagine if your company’s website stopped showing up in searches. If Google search errors are causing a huge drop in organic traffic, your content marketing strategy is useless. It’s already a tough year, and the indexation issue is costing companies even more money. It’s easy to forget that Google is, after all, just a private company. The one that holds the world’s monopoly on search engines, with a staggering 92.27% market share, the one we all depend on, and the one that has managed to get its name out there as a household name in the Duden. But it’s still a private company. While we would all like to understand what happened and what is still happening, and resume our virtual lives, it may not be that easy. But with great power comes great responsibility. Or at least it should be. Who is to blame for companies losing sales in two weeks? Yes, bugs occur all the time, and they are present in all applications, large and small. And yes, we tend to abuse the Google machine as a reality interface. But Google also has its own obligations. For example, Google influences the economy by the way ads are ranked: The more a company pays, the more often the ad will appear on the screen. Google’s answers resulting from the searches are also already ranked in the searches. And Google is responsible (up to a certain percentage, of course) for the company’s costs. Sure, Google already does this for ads, but it already does it for the entire SERP. The sudden disappearance or, more generally, the dramatic and sudden change of events is a narrative technique often used in literature and film. Sometimes it remains inexplicable, but it always manages to evoke strong emotions. For example, the mass disappearance of 2% of the world’s population in the television series Left Behind, or the sudden cessation of all deaths in an entire country in José Saramago’s novel Death with Interruptions. In real life, these events are usually much smaller and less dramatic, but they are not without consequences. We will probably never know the actual number of companies affected. We know that a problem of this magnitude puts business owners and their employees in very stressful situations in a year that is already difficult enough for many, to the detriment of the general well-being and profits of businesses.
Is there anything you can do in this situation?
The short answer is no. All we can do is wait and hope that everything will return to normal – a phrase you’ve probably heard all too often lately. The 30th. In September, Google announced that it would temporarily suspend the search indexing feature in its Webmaster Tools. There was no detailed explanation of the reasons, only a vague reference to changes in infrastructure. After a few days, those in charge of the company said everything was fine, as complaints about Google’s indexing problems continued to pour in and more and more businesses were affected. Google is so ubiquitous these days that we often don’t even think of it as a private company anymore. The Oxford English Dictionary and the Merriam-Webster Dictionary added google as a transitive verb in 2006. It’s so common, it’s just… is. With a market share of over 90%, this is not surprising. The problem with all this is that for some reason we tend to think that common names are more reliable. It’s as if Google is no longer a company, but some sort of utility whose sole purpose is to help its users, rather than trying to balance that and make a profit as a leading private company in the market. And corporations are sometimes more interested in profit than other things like justice or truth. This does not mean that Google has intentionally lied in the past or that it has not cared about correcting its mistakes. But sometimes she talked about it in a way that was beneficial: by not telling the whole truth about the impact of links from press releases, by not revealing anything about the Hummingbird algorithm update until its impact was already clear, or by not mentioning the current URL submission and indexing errors up front. But even if that’s all true, that’s what companies generally do. They keep a little for themselves, they blow up or underestimate because it serves their purposes. But thanks to Google’s near monopoly, they can also change the rules of the game, not just accuracy or truth. Of course, the search engine giant doesn’t have to play along. As a private company, it has no obligation to inform anyone about how it updates its algorithms, whether it has bugs, the perceived impact of its actions, or its strategy. And yet there’s a whole industry out there trying to figure these things out. Hopefully this article will be indexed and you will be able to find it easily in the SERPs, we are waiting for your opinion on this. If you’re doing SEO, you’ve probably heard of Google’s Penguin algorithm. It’s a relatively new algorithm (launched in 2012) that was designed to prevent spam from ranking. Penguin doesn’t have full control over the search engine results page (SERP), but there are ways to take advantage of Penguin to increase your search engine rankings. For example, if you have the right keywords, a negative Penguin factor will hurt your search engine rankings, while a positive one can help your rankings. Penguin is the first step in Google’s algorithm update process, but the potential impact of this update is fairly small. The update is more important for websites that get a lot of traffic, but if you’re not getting a lot of traffic, you probably don. Read more about url is not available to google and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Google not indexing all my pages?
Google is one of the largest and most popular search engines in the world. But it takes more than a search engine to be successful. Google is also a web directory, which means it lists sites on the web in search results. To be listed in Google, it takes more than a good website. It takes a strong, relevant business model. Google crawls and indexes the pages of websites and blogs. In order to do so, Google has to crawl the entire site. If they find that a page doesn’t have any indexable elements (title, meta tags, and so on), they won’t index it. Google will automatically crawl all pages on a site, whether they are public or only accessible by a logged-in user.
Why is page not indexed?
We have been asked this question dozens of times now. We usually respond with links to some of our articles that have a detailed explanation on why pages aren’t indexed. But, this week, we decided to go a step further. This blog post will explain how Google indexes websites. It will explain the obvious things like copying content from other sources and posting it to your website, and it will explain the unusual stuff like using rel=”nofollow” tags on your pages and using proper titles on your pages.
How do I get my website indexed by Google?
If you’re worried that your website is not appearing in people’s search results, then you should be. Google’s search algorithm is one of the most complex out there and it’s easy for things to slip through the cracks. There are two main ways to improve your website’s chances of appearing in Google’s results. The first is to index your website using Google’s free sitemaps service. The second is to submit your website to the Google Webmaster Central (GWC) . Browsing the Internet is a big part of everyday life, but the reality is that not all pages are indexed by Google. This has been getting worse for years, but that hasn’t stopped companies from offering services to help their clients get their pages indexed.
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