Google confirms persistent problem with its search index


Today, at 10:50 a.m. EST, Google confirms that there is an ongoing indexing issue affecting a large number of sites.

The cause of the problem is unknown at this time. Google will provide an update within the next 12 hours.

These are the details we know so far.


How many sites are affected and to what extent?

The current issue with Google’s search index appears to only impact new content.

If you post new content today, it probably won’t be indexed until the issue is resolved.

You can check for yourself by doing a “site:” search and filtering the results by past day or hour.

We posted several articles on Search Engine Journal today, and none of them are indexed so far, as you can see in the screenshot below:

Google confirms a persistent problem with its search index

It’s unclear when the issue started, although we can narrow it down to a time window of the last 4 hours based on when new content was last indexed. This means that Google probably stopped indexing new pages around 7 a.m. EST.

As for how many sites the issue affects, as far as we can tell, all of them. Or at least all the sites that publish new content today.

If you haven’t added any new pages to your site and you have no intention of doing so, you have nothing to worry about.

These indexing issues affecting new content have happened before, and history shows that they do not extend to existing content.

Will this impact my search rankings?

The main concern people have about Google issues is how they will impact search rankings.

Admittedly, this problem is limited to indexing, not ranking. This bug will not hurt Google search rankings for existing content.

New content won’t have a chance to rank by not being indexed, although that’s only temporary until Google fixes the issue.

Will my content end up being indexed?

Google doesn’t guarantee to index all content even when systems are operating as usual, so there’s no telling whether the content you post today will eventually get indexed.

If Google generally indexes your new pages, it will likely resume when it fixes the bug.

When will Google fix the problem?

Historically, Google indexing bugs take around 24 hours to fix. However, the delay may be longer or shorter because Google does not provide an estimate.

Google will provide an update on Twitter via @GoogleSearchC either when it fixes the bug or when it has more information to share.

Featured Image: Sergei Elagin/Shutterstock

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