On Friday we reported on an issue where SEOs began noticing that Google was removing tons of pages from their index. It seemed to have started on Thursday but Google did not confirm the issue until Saturday morning. The issue is now into day four or so and it is not yet fully resolved.
In short, some sites were seeing a nice chunk of their web pages being de-indexed, removed from the Google index, and thus not showing up in the Google search results. This can hurt big time for sites that depend on Google to send them traffic. That traffic may convert to leads, ad clicks, e-commerce check outs, and other conversion metrics.
It is hard to say how big this was, I asked, Google won’t say. But the issue seems to be big at least from within the SEO community.
Here is what we know so far.
Google thought they fixed the issue Saturday morning:
SEOs before this knew that they could use the URL Inspection tool to submit URLs back into the Google index. But for sites with thousands of pages removed from the Google index, this is not practical.
Google won’t explain what the technical issue is/was:
Then Sunday morning, Google came back after most SEOs were saying – no Google it isn’t fixed – to confirm once again, it isn’t fixed. Google is still working on it they said and even when they are done – don’t expect all your URLs indexed, because Google doesn’t do that:
Google will fix it, you don’t need to do anything but feel free to use the URL Inspection tool John said to expedite certain pages:
Google won’t say how much of their index was impacted by this and I have not seen estimates from outside sources yet:
On Sunday Google also shared it on this account:
As of right now, 8am eastern time in New York, we do not have any further updates from Google. The last we heard was from yesterday on this topic.
Forum discussion at Twitter, WebmasterWorld, Black Hat World & Reddit.
Update: Google posted on Monday, April 8th at around 4pm ET that they are still working on it and need another 12-24 hours to fully resolve this issue:
Update 2: Google is almost fully done resolving the issue, we have an update on April 9th at 8:30am over here.