Google has shared some more details around the indexing issues around canonicalization and mobile-indexing. Google answered some of the questions I asked them when they confirmed the issue last week around when it happened and how large the issue was.
First, to summarize the issue around since September 23rd we saw some changes with Google. We actually called these changes out canonical issues within a few days of noticing the issue, Google has now confirmed the indexing bugs where pages were dropping out of the index.
Google said the issue was two-fold Google said; one with canonicalization and the other with mobile-indexing.
Google updated us with a set of posts on Twitter saying:
“Update: it may take days to fully resolve both these issues completely, but we have restored many URLs already and are working quickly to process more. In particular the issue with canonicals impacted roughly about 0.02% of our index, beginning around Sept. 20 until late yesterday around 4:30pm PT. We’ve since restored about 10% of those URLs and keep reprocessing more. The mobile-indexing issue impacted roughly about 0.2% of our index, beginning in early September but really spiking from around the middle of this week through late yesterday. We’ve since restored about 1/4 of those URLs & keep reprocessing more.”
Yes, the issues are taking some time to resolve, we all can see that.
But Google said the canonical issue started as early as September 20th, not September 22nd or 23rd like we thought. I guess it took time for it to really become an issue for us to notice? Google said it only impacted about 0.02% of its index. As of October 2nd, Google restored about 10% but based on what we are seeing, it has restored a lot more since October 2nd.
The mobile-indexing issue happened way earlier, which is even more interesting. But Google said the issue “spiked” around the middle of this past week. Google said it impacted a much larger piece of the issue, around 0.2% and Google as of October 2nd restored 25% of it and continues to do so now.
Keep in mind, these 0.02% and 0.2% seems small but Google has trillions of pages in its index. So the raw number of pages impacted is massive.
Many are noticing the fix already slowly come out:
— Sebastian Schoener (@sebschoener) October 5, 2020
Google Coster. pic.twitter.com/qcHIALi3V0
— Thomas Zickell (@thomaszickell) October 5, 2020
Some others Googlers talking about it:
FWIW: This seems to be related to the canonicalization bug we’ve mentioned at https://t.co/WYucLXgrb3
— Martin Splitt @ home 🏡🇨🇭 (@g33konaut) October 5, 2020
When things settle back in, they pick up the signals again automatically. No need to do anything special.
— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) October 3, 2020
I should note that some of the tracking tools and chatter are thinking a Google update over the weekend, but I suspect it is just the reversal of this bug.
So I suspect by this week, things should be back to normal and then maybe that core update we have all been waiting for will shake things up a bit?
Forum discussion at Twitter.
Update from Google later today:
Update: we’ve now restored about 25% of the URLs impacted by the canonical issue and about 50% of those impacted by the mobile-indexing issue. We continue to keep reprocessing more.
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) October 6, 2020