The Google Search Liaison Twitter account confirmed on the 16th July 2022 that there is an ongoing indexing issue that is impacting indexing of new web pages.
The first tweet came early on the 16th July (AEST) stating that an issue had been identified:
“There’s an ongoing issue with indexing in Google Search that’s affecting a large number of sites. Sites may experience delayed indexing. We’re working on identifying the root cause. Next update will be within 12 hours.”
At 5.02am on the 16th July (AEST), the Google Search Liaison Twitter account confirmed that the issue had been pinpointed and the a fix would be rolled out in the next 12-hours:
“We’ve identified the issue with indexing and we’re working on a fix. Next update will be within 12 hours.”
What does Google’s indexing outage mean?
From what we can see, new content published from the 16th July (AEST) onwards is not indexing or appearing in Google search. That means any content that has been set live in the last 12-hours is not showing in Google.
For websites that have not published new content in the past 24-hours, you will not notice any disruption to the way that content is served or the way that users are interacting with your website. For users that have published new content, you may have noticed that content has not been indexed at this time.
The biggest impact will be to news sites that rely on Google to serve new content in a timely manner. Time sensitive articles published around news events in the past 12-hours may fall flat with no organic visitors.
Will this impact my search rankings?
No, there is no impact to rankings for existing pages. Any major shifts in search rankings over the last 12-hours will not be as a result of the indexing issue reported by Google.
The only websites that will feel the impact of the indexing issue are news websites that are publishing a high volume of content. For e-commerce, blogs, and general business sites – there will be no impact to your rankings or traffic. The only effect that you may notice is that content is taking longer/not indexing at this stage.
How long will it take Google to fix the indexing issue?
According to the most recent tweet from the Google Search Liaison Twitter account, it will take around 12-hours for Google to rectify the indexing issue in Google. At the time of writing this article (2pm 16th July AEST), we are beginning to see some new content indexed in Google.
If you have published content in the last 24-hours, you can check index status by using the “site:yourarticle.com” search function in Google. If your article appears in search, then things are moving as normal. If your article has not yet indexed, it may not be a result of the indexing glitch reported by Google – you may simply be seeing slower index rates.
Is this an isolated indexing issue with Google?
From what we can see – yes, this is an isolated indexing problem reported by Google.
With that said, it is important to acknowledge that indexation rates for new content have (generally speaking) been much slower across the board than they were 12-monthts ago. As an SEO agency that publishes content across multiple sites and industries, we can confirm that content is taking longer than ever before to index. Furthermore, the quality of content required to be included in Google’s search results is now higher than ever.
We published an article in 2020 that outlined index lead times in Google. Over the last 6-months, the number of visits to this article has skyrocketed as more and more users are heading to Google to find out how long Google takes to publish new content. We would suggest that a spike in traffic to this article is closely correlated with the extended indexing times being experienced by users in 2022.
How can I improve index rates Google?
The advice that we shared in the aforementioned 2020 article shares some valuable insights around how we help clients index new content quickly. Some of the best advice includes:
- Focus on creating internal links
- Check for website crawl errors in search console
- Keep a close eye on Google’s indexing report in search console
- Regularly update your website with new content
- Earn links to assist with indexing
- Improve technical SEO and site structure
- Syndicate new content to social media platforms
Hang tight – from what it looks like, Google should have this indexing issue sorted in the next twelve hours. If you are experiencing ongoing content indexing issues, then it could be time to review the quality of your website content. In 2022, getting new content published is harder than ever, so you need to focus on creating new, interesting, and highly-relevant content that satisfies user search queries.