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Google Confirms Ongoing Difficulty With Its Search Index
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Google Confirms Ongoing Difficulty With Its Search Index

August 4, 2022

If you are not seeing any traffic from Google for new content, don’t worry you’re not all alone in this. 

Google has admitted that there are issues with indexing and displaying new content in Google News and Google Search. The problem began sometime before 7 a.m. ET today, as I first stated on the Search Engine Roundtable before Google’s confirmation.

  • Google Confirmation: This was confirmed by Google on Twitter, which stated: “There is a persistent problem with indexing in Google Search that is affecting a significant number of sites.” Indexing may take longer for some sites. The root cause is something we’re trying to determine. Within 12 hours, there will be another update.
  • Timeline: As of now, July 15, 2022, at 7 a.m. ET, Google has been having trouble indexing new content. On July 15, 2022, at about 10:50 a.m. ET, Google acknowledged the problem. Google announced that they had discovered the problem and were working on a fix at around 3 PM ET today. In a blog post, Google stated, “We’ve found the indexing problem and are working on a fix.” Within 12 hours, there will be another update.
  • Issue: Google does not index newly published content from internet-based websites, which is a problem. This includes recent content from news websites like this one, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and other online publications. Google is simply not indexing this new content, even though it appears that it is crawling it, so neither Google News nor Google Search are showing the results.  

Update on the issue

Google claims to have identified and is working on a solution to the indexing problem.

Despite the fact that new content is being indexed, it appears that the fix is now in place. Here’s a story about a Google Ads bug that we only published an hour ago and the search engine had no trouble indexing.

Number of Sites Impacted & To What Extent?

The current Google search index problem seems to only impact fresh content. If you add new content today, it probably won’t be indexed until the issue is fixed. By using a “site:” search and filtering the results by the most recent day or hour, you can confirm this for yourself.

Although we can pinpoint the problem to the last four hours based on when new content was last indexed, the exact start date of the problem is unknown. Accordingly, Google’s indexing of fresh pages probably ceased around 7 a.m. Eastern time. As far as we can tell, every site is affected by the problem. or at the very least, all websites that are currently adding new content.

Will this impact my search rankings?

People are most concerned about how Google issues will affect search rankings. To be sure, this problem is limited to indexing rather than ranking. This bug has no effect on Google Search rankings for existing content. By not being indexed, new content will not have a chance to rank, though this is only temporary until Google fixes the problem.

Conclusion

Users discovered that a Google search without the “past hour” search filter will only produce older content. Site command searches with the “past hour” filter on return nothing, while general searches with the “past hour” filter on produce results that are wholly unrelated. Just because of that, current Google searchers are unable to locate timely and current news coverage. There have been numerous indexing issues for the company recently, not just Google’s inability to index new content. Due to an ongoing indexing error last month, Google deindexed a lot of pages. Additionally, a problem with Google’s report on indexed pages around the same time rendered more than two weeks’ worth of data useless.

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Nicola Bond

Nicola Bond

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