Recently the most popular search engine faced an error in indexing processes. It looks like the problem is almost solved with Google stating that the new update will fix mobile indexing and canonicalization issues. See more!
Two main indexing problems in Google
Some time ago those who publish content online started noticing sudden drops from the index. While in many cases it was the home pages that would mysteriously disappear from Google index, the problem reached also new web pages that would take ages to get indexed and finally appear in Google.
We are currently working to resolve two separate indexing issues that have impacted some URLs. One is with mobile-indexing. The other is with canonicalization, how we detect and handle duplicate content. In either case, pages might not be indexed….
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) October 1, 2020
But there’s more, Google lost its way also when it comes to content duplication. To be more specific it was how Google was giving attribution to the pages that copied content. Imagine you publish a great entry and someone just copies it and creates a duplicate. Not cool, right?
Then with the bug in the system, when searching for the newly created content the search engine would display rather the infringing content than the original one. Generally speaking, with the canonicalization issue Google was more supportive of duplicated content rather than the original unique text and we all know that’s not how things should work.
Here’s how SearchLiaison wrote about the issue at the beginning of October:
“If a previously indexed page has gone, it might be the mobile-indexing issue, where we’re failing to select any page at all to index. If the canonical issue is involved, URL Inspector may show the URL as a duplicate & the Google-selected canonical will be different from it….”
Problems are about to get fixed
Luckily to both website owners and Google itself, on the October 9th, Google Search Liaison hit us with the news that issues are partially fixed.
“(…) The mobile indexing was effectively resolved yesterday, with about 99% of URLs restored. Work on the canonical issue continues, with about 55% of impacted URLs restored.
Well, mistakes and bugs happen and the situation definitely shows that SEO work is an ongoing journey of checking what’s going on with our site – on the search engine result pages as well. Waiting for the canonical issue to be fixed, stay alerted for any sudden changes!
UPDATE: Google Webmasters just announced that they disabled the “Request Indexing” option that was available in the Google Search Control account. It will be restored in the mentioned “coming weeks” after all the repairs will be done. See yourself:
We have disabled the “Request Indexing” feature of the URL Inspection Tool, in order to make some infrastructure changes. We expect it will return in the coming weeks. We continue to find & index content through our regular methods, as covered here: https://t.co/rMFVaLht6V
— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) October 14, 2020